Skip to main content

Full text of "Teutonic mythology"

See other formats



SectiVn. . » Gr: O (o~[ 

be % 













Butler & Tanner. 

The Seltvood Printing Works, 

Frome, and Loudon. 


Apart from deified and semi-divine natures there stands a 
whole order of other beings distinguished mainly by the fact 
Jthat, while those have issued from men or seek human fellowship, 
these form a separate community, one might say a kingdom of 
their own, and are only induced by accident or stress of circum- 
stances to have dealings with men. They have in them some 
admixture of the superhuman, which appi'oximates them to gods ; 
they have power to hurt man and to help him, at the same time 
they stand in awe of him, being no match for him in bodily 
strength. Their figure is much below the stature of man, or else 
mis-shapen. They almost all have the faculty of makiug them- 
selves invisible. 1 And here again the females are of a broader 
and nobler cast, with attributes resembling those of goddesses 
and wise-women ; the male spirits are more distinctly marked off, 
both from gods and from heroes. 3 

The two most general designations for them form the title of 
this chapter ; they are what we should call spirits nowadays. 
But the word spirit (geist, ghost), 3 like the Greek hal^wv, is 
too comprehensive; it would include, for instance, the half- 
goddesses discussed in the preceding chapter. The Lat. genius 
would more nearly hit the mark (see Suppl.). 

The term wiht seems remarkable in more than one respect, for 
its variable gender and for the abstract meanings developed from 

1 But so have the gods (p. 325), goddesses (p. 2G8) and wise-women (p. 419). 

2 Celtic tradition, which runs particularly rich on this subject, I draw from 
the following works: Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, 
by Crofton Croker, Lond. 1825 ; 2nd ed., parts 1, 2, 3, Lond. 1828. The Fairy 
Mythology, by Th. Keightley, vols. 1, 2, Lond. 1828. Barzas-Breiz, chants popu- 
lates de la Bretagne, par Th. de la Villemarque, 2< j ed., 2 vol., Paris 1840. 

3 OHG. keist, AS. g&st, OS. gist (see root in Gramm. 2, 46); Goth, ahma, 
OHG. atum for ahadum, conn, with Goth, aha (mens), ahjan (meminisse, cogitare), 
as maji (homo), manniska, and manni, miuni belong to munan, minnen (pp. 5 ( J. 

VOL. II. * 89 B 


it. The Gothic vaihts, gen. vaiht&is, is feminine, and Ulphilas 
hardly ever uses it in a concrete sense ; in Luke 1, 1 he translates 
by it 7rpay/j,a, and much oftener, when combined with a negative, 
ovSev (Gramm. 3, 8. 734). This, however, does not exclude the 
possibility of vaihts having at other times denoted to the Goths 
a spirit regarded as female; and in 1 Thess. 5, 22 the sentence 
diro TravTos e'lSovs irovripov tnrkyeaQe is rendered : af allamma 
vaihte ubilaizo afhabaih izvis, where the Vulg. has : ab omni 
specie mala abstinete vos ; the use of the pi. ' vaihteis ubilos ' of 
itself suggests the notion of spirits. The other Teutonic tongues 
equally use the word to intensify and make a substantive of the * 
negative, and even let it swallow up at last the proper particle 
of negation ; x but in all of them it retains its personal meaning 
too. The OHG. writers waver between the neut. and masc. ; the 
Gothic fem. is unknown to them. Otfried has a neut. wiht, with 
the collective pi. wihtir,- and likewise a neut. pi. wihti, which 
implies a sing, wihti; thus, armu wihtir, iv. C, 23; armu wihti, 
ii. 16, 117; krumbu wihti, iii. 9, 5; meaning ' poor, crooked 
creatures/ so that loiht (derivable from wihan facere, creare) 
seems altogether synonymous with being, creature, person, and 
can be used of men or spirits : ' in demo mere sint wunderlichiu 
ivihtir, diu heizent sirenae/ Hoffm. Fundgr. 19, 17. In MHG. 
sometimes neut.: unreinez wiht, Diut. 1, 13; Athis H. 28; 
triigehaftez wiht, Barl. 367, 11 ; vil tumbez wiht, 11, 21; some- 
times masc. : boeser iviht, Barl. 220, 15 ; unrehter bossewiht, MS. 
2, 147% Geo. 3508; kleiner wiht, Altd. bl. 1, 254; der wiht, 
Geo. 3513-36; der tumbe wiht, Fragm. 42* ; and often of in- 
determinable gender: boese wild, Trist. 8417; helle wiht, Geo. 
3531 ; but either way as much applicable to men as to spirits. 
Ghostly wights are the ' minuti dii ' of the Eomans (Plaut. 
Casina, ii. 5, 24). In Mod. Germ, we make wield masc, 
and use it slightingly of a pitiful hapless being, fellow, often 
with a qualifying epithet: ' elender wicht, bosewicht (villain)/ 
If the diminutive form be added, which intensifies the notion of 
littleness, it can only be used of spirits : wichtlein, wichtelmann ; 3 

1 Aught = a-wiht, any wight or whit ; naught = n'a-wiht,no wight, no whit. — 

- So : thiu diufilir, iii. 14, 53, hy the side of ther diufal, iii. 14, 108. 

3 In Hesse wicht elmnnner is the expression in vogue, except on the Diemel in 
Saxon Hesse, where they say 'gute holden.' 

WIGHTS. 411 

MUG. diu wihtel, 1 MS. 1, 157 a ; bcesez wihtel, Elfenm. cxviii. ; 
kleinez wihtelin, Ls. 1, 378, 380, Wolfdietr. 783, 799; OHG. 
wihtelin penates ; wihtelen vel helbe {I.e. elbe), lernures, dsemones, 
Gl. Florian. The dernea ivihti, occulti genii, in Hel. 31, 20. 92, 2 
are deceitful demonic beings, as ' tliie demo' 104, 19 means 
the devil himself; letha ivihti, 70, 15; wreda iviidi 70, 1. In 
Lower Saxony wield is said, quite in a good sense, of little 
children : in the Miinster country ' dat wicht ' liolds especially 
of girls, about Osnabriick the sing, wicht only of girls, the pi. 
wichter of girls and boys; 'innocent wichte' are spoken of in 
Sastrow, 1, 351. The Mid. Nethl. has a neut. wicht like the 
H. German: quade ivicltt, clene wicht (child). Huyd. op St. 3, 6. 
370; arern wild, Reink. 1027; so the Mod. Dutch wicht, pi. 
wichteren : arm wicht, aardig wicht, in a kindly sense. The AS. 
language agrees with the Gothic as to the fern, gender : wild, 
gen. wihte, nom. pi. wihta; later ivuld, wuhte, wuhta; seo wiht, 
Cod. Exon. 418, 8. 419, 3. 5. 420, 4. 10. The meaning can be 
either concrete: yfel wild (phantasma), leas wiht (diabolus), 
Casdra. 310, 10; scewild (animal marinum), Beda, 1, 1; or 
entirely abstract = thing, affair. The Engl, wight has the sense 
of our wicht. The ON. vcett and vcettr, which are likewise fern., 
have preserved in. its integrity the notion of a demonic spiritual 
being (Saam. I45 a ) : allar vcettir, genii quicunque, Sa3tn. 93 b ; 
hollar vcettir, genii benigni, Ssem. 240 b ; ragveettir or meinvcettir, 
genii noxii, 2 landvcettir, genii tutelares, Fornm. sog. 3, 105. 
Isl. sog. 1, 198, etc. In the Faroes they say: 'fear tu tear 
til mainvittis (go to the devil) ! ' Lyngbye, p. 548. The Danish 
vette is a female spirit, a wood-nymph, meinvette an evil spirit, 

1 Swer weiz und clocli niht wizzen wil, Whoso knows, yet will not kuow, 
der slaet sich rnit sin selbes hant ; Smites himself with his own hand ; 

des wlsheit aht ich zeime spil, His wisdom lvalue no more than a play 

daz man din wihtel hat genannt : That they call ' the little wights ' : 

er hit una sehouwen wunders vil, He lets us witness much of wonder, 

der ir ha waltet. "Who governs them. 

The passage shows that in the 13th cent, there was a kind of puppet-show in which 
ghostly beings were set before the eyes of spectators. 'Der ir waltet,' he thai 
wields them, means the showman who puts the figures in motion. A full confir- 
mation in the Wachtelmare, line 40: ' rihtet zu mit den sniieren (strinj 
tatermanne ! ' Another passage on the wihtel-spil in Haupt's Zeitschr. 2, GO : 
' spilt mit dem wihtelin hi' dem tisch umb guoten win.' 

2 Bib'rn supposes a masc. (fern. ?) meinvattr and a neut. meinvcetti ; no doubt 
Biein is noxa, malum ; nevertheless I call attention to the Zendic mainyus, daemon, 
and agramainyus, daemon malus. 


Thiele 3, 98. The Swedish tongue, in addition to vlitt (genius) 
and a synonymous neut. vdttr, lias a wild formed after the German, 
Ihre, p. 1075. Neither is the abstract sense wanting in any of 
these dialects. 

This transition of the meaning of wight into that of thing on 
the one hand, and of devil on the other, agrees with some other 
phenomena of language. We also address little children as 
' thing,' and the child in the marchen (No. 105) cries to the 
lizard : ' ding, eat the crumbs too ! ' Wicht, ding, wint, teufel, 
valant (Gramm. 3, 731. 736) all help to clinch a denial. 0. French 
males choses, mali genii, Ren. 30085. Mid. Latin bonce 7*es = boni 
genii, Vine. Bellov. hi. 3, 27 (see Suppl.). 

We at once perceive a more decided colouring in the OHG. 
and MHG. alp (genius), AS. celf, ON. dlfr ; a Goth, albs may 
safely be conjectured. Together with this masc, the OHG. 
may also 'have had a neut. alp, pi. elpir, as we know the MHG. 
had a pi. elber; and from the MHG. dat. fern, elbe (MS. 1, 50 b ) 
we must certainly infer a nom. diu elbe, OHG. alpia, elpia, Goth. 
albi, gen. albjos, for otherwise such a derivative could not occur. 
Formed by a still commoner suffix, there was no doubt an OHG. 
elpmna, MHG. elbinne, the form selected by Albrecht of Halber- 
stadt, and still appearing in his poem as remodelled by Wikram; 1 
AS. el fen, gen. elfenne. Of the nom. pi. masc. I can only feel 
sure in the ON., where it is cllfar, and would imply a Goth, 
albus, OHG. alpa, MHG. albe, AS. selfas; on the other hand an 
OHG. elpi (Goth, albeis) is suggested by the MHG. pi. elbe 
(Amgb. 2 b , unless this comes from the fern, elbe above) and by 
the AS. pi. ylfe, gen. pi. ylfa (Beow. 223). 2 The Engl, forms 

1 Wikram 1, 9. 6, 9 fed. 1631, p. 11* 199b). The first passage, in all the editions 
I have compared (ed. 1545, p. 3 a ), has a faulty reading: ' auch viel ewinnen und 
freyen,' rhyming with ' zweyen.' Albrecht surely wrote ' vil elbinnen und feien.' 
I can mak j , nothing of ' freien ' but at best a very daring allusion to Frigg and 
Frea (p. 301) ; and ' froie' = fraulein, as the weasel is called in Reinh. clxxii., can 
have nothing to say here. 

2 Taking AS. y [as a modified a, a, ea,~] as in yldra, ylfet, yrfe, OHG. eldiro, 
elpiz, erpi. At the same time, as y can also be a modified o (orf, yrfe = pecus), or 
a modified it (wulf, wylfen), I will not pass over a MHG. ulf, pi. illve, which seems 
to mean much the same as alp, and may be akin to an AS. ylf: ' von den iilven 
entbunden werden,' MS. 1, 81* ; ' Ulfheit ein suht ob alien siihten,' MS. 2, 135 s ; 
'der sich iilfet in der jugent,' Helbi. 2,426; and conf. the olp quoted from H. 
Sachs. Shakspeare occasionally couples elves and goblins with similar beings called 
ouphes (Nares sub v.). It speaks for the identity of the two forms, that one 
Swedish folk-song (Arwidsson 2, 278) has Ulfver where another (2, 276) has Elfver. 

ELVES. 443 

elf, elves, the Swed. elf, pi. masc. elfvar (fem. elfvor), the Dan. 
elv, pi. elve, are quite in rule ; the Dan. compounds ellefulli, ellc- 
honer, elleskudt, ellevild have undergone assimilation. With us 
the word alp still survives in the sense of night-hag, night-mare, 
in addition to which our writers of the last century introduced 
the Engl, elf, a form untrue to our dialect ; before that, we find 
everywhere the correct pi. elbe or elben. 1 H. Sachs uses dip : 
' du olp ! du dolp ! ; (i. 5, 525 b ), and olperisch (iv. 3, 95°) ; conf. 
ijlpern and olpetriitsch, alberdriitsch, drelpetriitsch (Schm. 1,48) ; 
elpentrotsch and tolpentrotsch, trilpentrisch (Schmidts Swab. diet. 
162) ; and in Hersfeld, hilpentrisch. The words mean an awkward 
silly fellow, one whom the elves have been at, and the same thing 
is expressed by the simple elbisch, Fundgr. 365. In Gloss. Jan. 
340 we read elvesce weltte, elvish wights. 

On the nature of Elves I resort for advice to the ON. authori- 
ties, before all others. It has been remarked already (p. 25), 
that the Elder Edda several times couples cesir and alfar together, 
as though they were a compendium of all higher beings, and 
that the AS. es and ylfe stand together in exactly the same way. 
This apparently concedes more of divinity to elves than to men. 
Sometimes there come in, as a third member, the vanir (Seeni. 
83 b ), a race distinct from the sesir, but admitted to certain 
relations with them by marriage and by covenants. The Hrafna- 
galdr opens with the words : AlfoSr orkar (works), alfar skilja, 
vanir vita," Seem. 88 a ; Allfather, i.e. the as, has power, alfar 
have skill (understanding), and vanir knowledge. The Alvismal 
enumerates the dissimilar names given to heavenly bodies, 
elements and plants by various languages (supra, p. 332) ; in 
doing so, it mentions aisir, alfar, vanir, and in addition also 
gotf, menu, ginregin, iutnar, dvergar and denizens of hel (hades). 
Here the most remarkable point for us is, that alfar and dvergar 
(dwarfs) are two different things. The same distinction is made 
between alfar and dvergar, Sasm. 8 b ; between dvergar and 
dockalfar, Sasm. 92 b ; between three kinds of norns, the as-kungar, 
alf-kungar and dcetr Dvalins, Sasm. 188% namely, those descended 
from ases, from elves and from dwarfs; and our MHGr. poets, 
as we see by Wikram's Albrecht, 6, 9, continued to separate elbe 

1 Besold. sub v. elbe ; Ettner's Hebamme, p. 910, alpen or elben. 


from gctwerc} Some kinship however seems to exist between 
them, if only because among proper names of dwarfs we find an 
Alfr and a Vinddlfr, Seem. 2. 3. Loki, elsewhere called an as, 
and reckoned among ases, but really of iotun origin, is neverthe- 
less addressed as alfr, Saem. 110 b ; nay, Vulundr, a godlike hero, 
is called ' alfa lio'Si/ alforum socius, and ' visi dlfa/ alforum 
princeps, Stem. 135 a ' b - I explain this not historically (by a 
Finnish descent), but mythically : German legend likewise makes 
Wielant king Elberick's companion and fellow smith in Mount 
Gloggensachsen (otherwise Gougelsahs, Caucasus?). Thus we 
see the word alfr shrink and stretch by turns. 

Now what is the true meaning of the word albs, alp = genius ? 
One is tempted indeed to compare the Lat. albas, which according 
to Festus the Sabines called alpus ; «\.</>o? (vitiligo, leprosy) 
agrees still better with the law of consonant-change. Probably 
then albs meant first of all a light-coloured, white, good spirit, 3 
so that, when dlfar and dvergar are contrasted, the one signifies 
the white spirits, the other the black. This exactly agrees with 
the great beauty and brightness of alfar. But the two classes 
of creatures getting, as we shall see, a good deal mixed up 
and confounded, recourse was had to composition, and the elves 
proper were named liosdlfar. 3 

The above-named dockalfar (genii obscnri) require a counter- 
part, Avhich is not found in the Eddie songs, but it is in Snorri's 
prose. He says, p. 21 : 'In Alfheim dwells the nation of the 
liosdlfar (light elves), down in the earth dwell the dockalfar 
(dark elves), the two unlike one another in their look and their 
powers, liosdlfar brighter than the sun, dockalfar blacker than 
pitch/ The liosdlfar occupy the third space of heaven, Sn. 22. 
Another name which never occurs in the lays, and which at 
first sight seems synonymous with dockalfar, is svartdlfar (black 

1 In Norway popular belief keeps alfer and drerfje apart, Faye p. 49. 

2 The word appears in the name of the snowclad mountains (alpes, see Snppl.), 
and that of the clear river (Albis, Elbe), while the ON. elf elfa, Swed. elf, Dan. 
elv = fiuvius, is still merely appellative ; the ghostly elvish swan (OHG. alpiz, 
MHG. elbez, AS. aelfet, ON. alpt, p. 429) can be explained both by its colour and its 
watery abode ; likewise the Slav, labud, lebed, from Labe. 

3 Vanir also may contain the notion of white, bright ; consider the ON. vcenn 
(ptdcher), the Ir. ban (albus), ben, bean (femina), Lat. Venus, Goth, qino, AS. circn. 
To this add, that the Ir. banshi, ban-sighe denotes an elvish being usually regarded 
as female, a fay. The same is expressed by sia, sir/he alone, which is said to mean 
properly the twilight, the hour of spirits (see Suppl.). 

ELVES. 445 

elves) ; 1 and these Snorri evidently takes to be the same as 
dvergar, for his dvergar dwell in Svartulfaheiin, (Sn. 34. 130. 
13G). This is, for one thing, at variance with the separation 
of dlfar and dvergar in the lays, and more particularly with 
the difference implied between doclcdlfar and dvergar in Saem. 
92 b 1 88 a . That language of poetry, which everywhere else im- 
parts such precise information about the old faith, I am not 
inclined to set aside here as vague and general. Nor, in con- 
nexion with this, ought we to overlook the ndir, the deadly pale 
or dead ghosts named by the side of the dvergar, Saem. 92 b , 
though again among the dvergar themselves occur the proper 
names Nar and Nainn. 

Some have seen, in this antithesis of light and black elves, the 
same Dualism that other mythologies set up between spirits good 
and bad, friendly and hostile, heavenly and hellish, between angels 
of light and of darkness. But ought we not rather to assume 
three kinds of Norse genii, liosdlfar, dochdlfar , svartdlfar ? No 
doubt I am thereby pronouncing Snorri's statement fallacious : 
' dodkalfar eru svartari en bik (pitch).-' DiJdcr ~ seems to me not so 
much downright black, as dim, dingy ; not niger, but obscurus, 
fuscus, aquilus. In ON. the adj. iarpr, AS. eorp, fuscus, seems to 
be used of dwarfs, Haupt's Zeitschr. 3, 152 ; and the female name 
Irpa (p. 98) is akin to it. In that case the identity of dwarfs 
and blade elves would hold good, and at the same time the Old 
Eddie distinction between dwarfs and dark elves be justified. 

Such a Trilogy still wants decisive proof ; but some facts can 
be brought in support of it. Pomeranian legend, to begin with, 
seems positively to divide subterraneans into white, brown, and 
blade ; 3 elsewhere popular belief contents itself with picturing 
dwarfs in gray clothing, in gray or brown cap-of-darkness ; 
Scotch tradition in particular has its brownies, spirits of brown 
hue, i.e. dockalfar rather than svartalfar (see Suppl.). But here 
I have yet another name to bring in, which, as applied to such 
spirits, is not in extensive use. I have not mot with it outside 

1 Thorlac. spec. 7, p. 1G", gives the liosalfar another name Jivit&lfar (white 
elves) ; I have not found the word in the old writings. 

s Conf. OHG. tunchal, MHG. tunkel (our dunkel), Nethl. donker. 

3 E. M. Arndt's Marchen und Jugenderinnerungen, Berl. 1818, p. 150. In Phil. 
von Steinau'8 Volkssagen, Zeitz 1838, pp. 291-3, the same traditions are given, 
but only white and black (not brown) dwarfs are distinguished. 


of the Vogtland and a part of East Thuringia. There the small 
elvish beings that travel especially in the train of Berchta, are 
called the heimclten (supra, p. 276) ; and the name is considered 
finer and nobler than querx or erdmannchen (Borner p. 52). It 
is hardly to be explained by any resemblance to chirping crickets, 
which are also called heinichen, OHG. heimili (Graff 4, 953) ; 
still less by heim (domus), for these wights are not home-sprites 
(domestici) ; besides, the correct spelling seems to be heinchen 
(Variscia 2, 101), so that one may connect it with ' Friend 
Hein/ the name for death, and the Low Sax. heinenMeed 
(winding-sheet, Strodtmann p. 84) - 1 This notion of departed 
spirits, who appear in the ' furious host ' in the retinue of former 
gods, and continue to lead a life of their own, may go to support 
those nair of the Edda; the pale hue may belong to them, 
and the gray, brown, black to the coarser but otherwise similar 
dwarfs. Such is my conjecture. In a hero-lay founded on 
thoroughly German legend, that of Morolt, there appear precisely 
three troops of spirits, who take charge of the fallen in battle 
and of their souls : a white, a pale, and a black troop (p. 28 b ), 
which is explained to mean l angels, kinsmen of the combatants 
coming up from hades, and devils.-' No such warlike part is ever 
played by the Norse alfar, not they, but the valkyrs have to do 
with battles ; but the traditions may long have become tangled 
together, and the offices confounded. 3 The liosdlfar and svartdlfar 
are in themselves sufficiently like the christian angels and devils ; 
the pale troop ' uz tier helle ' are the dochdlfar that dwell ' ni&ri 
i iorcFu,' nay, the very same that in the Alvismal are not expressly 
named, but designated by the words e i heljo.' Or I can put it in 
this way : liosalfar live in heaven, dockalfar (and nair ?) in hel, 
the heathen hades, svartalfar in Svartdlfaheim, which is never 
used in the same sense as hel (see Suppl.). The dusky elves 
are souls of dead men, as the younger poet supposed, or are we 
to separate dockalfar and nair ? Both have their abode in the 
realms of hades, as the light ones have in those of heaven. Of 
no other elves has the Edda so much to tell as of the black, 

l *' Heinenkleei is not conn, with Friend Hein, but means a hiinen'kleed 
(ch. XVIII.) ; couf. also the hiinuerskes, and perhaps the haunken, or aunken in 
the Westph. sgonaunken.' — Extr. from Suppl. 

- The different races of elves contending for a corpse (Ir. Elfenm. 68). 


who have more dealings with, mankind ; svartalfar are named in 
abundance, liosalfar and dockalfar but fitfully. 

One thing we must not let go : the identity of svartalfar and 

Dvergr, Goth, dvairgs? AS. dweorg, OHG. tuerc, MHG. tverc, 
our ziverg, 1 answer to the Lat. nanus, Gr. vdvvos (dwarf, puppet), 
Ital. nano, Span, enano, Portug. anao, Prov. nan, nant, Fr. nain, 
Mid. Nethl. also naen, Ferg. 2243-46-53-82. 3146-50, and nane, 
3086-97; or Gr. wvyficuo?. Beside the masc. forms just given, 
OHG. and MHG. frequently use the neut. form gituerc, getwerc, 
Nib. 98, 1. 335, 3. MS. 2, 15*. Wigal. 6080. 6591. Trist. 
14242. 14515. daz wilde getwerc, Ecke 81. 82. Wh. 57, 25. 
Getwerc is used as a masc. in Eilhart 2881-7. Altd. bl. 1 , 253-6-8 ; 
der twerk in Hoffm. fundgr. 237. Can Oeovpyos (performing 
miraculous deeds, what the MHG. would call wunderasre) have 
anything to do with it ? As to meaning, the dwarfs resemble 
the Idasan Dactyls of the ancients, the Cabeiri and Trdraucoi : all 
or most of the dvergar in the Edda are cunning smiths (Sn. 34. 
48. 130. 354). This seems the simplest explanation of their 
black suoty appearance, like that of the cyclopes. Their forges 
are placed in caves and mountains : Svartdtfalieimr must there- 
fore lie in a mountainous region, not in the abyss of hell. And 
our German folk-tales everywhere speak of the dwarfs as forging 
in the mountains: 'vongolde wirkent si diu spcehen were ' says 
the Wartburg War of the getwerc Sinnels in Palakers, whereas 
elves and elfins have rather the business of weaving attributed to 
them. Thus, while dwarfs border on the smith-heroes and smith- 
gods (Wielant, Vulcan), the functions of elves approach those of 
fays and good- wives (see Suppl.). 2 

If there be any truth in this view of the matter, one can easily 
conceive how it might get altered and confused in the popular 
belief of a later time, when the new christian notions of angel 
and devil had been introduced. At bottom all elves, even the 
light ones, have some devil-like qualities, e.g. their loving to 

1 In Lausitz and E. Thuringia querx, in Thiiringerwald querlich. Jac. von 
Konigshofeii, p. 89, has qucrch. In Lower Saxony sometimes tuarm, for twarg. 

2 In Bretagne the korr, pi. korred answers to our elf, the kurrigan to our elfin ; 
and she too is described like a fay : she sits by the fountain, combing her hair, and 
whoever catches her doing so, must marry her at once, or die in three days (Yille- 
marque 1, 17). The 'Welsh cater means a giant. 


teaze men ; but they are not therefore devils, not even the black 
ones, but often good-natured beings. It appears even that to these 
black elves in particular, i.e. mountain spirits, who in various 
ways came into contact with man, a distinct reverence was paid, 
a species of worship, traces of which lasted down to recent 
times. The clearest evidence of this is found in the Kormaks- 
saga pp. 216-8. The hill of the elves, like the altar of a god, 
is to be reddened with the blood of a slaughtered bull, and of 
the animal's flesh a feast prepared for the elves : ( H611 eiun er 
he San skamt i brott, er dlfar biia i (cave that elves dwell in) ; 
graSung ]?ann, er Kormakr drap (bull that K. slew), skaltu fa, ok 
rioSa bl6S grabamgsins a hulinn titan, en gera dlfum veizlu (make 
the elves a feast) af slatrinu, ok man ]?er batna/ An actual 
dlfablot. With this I connect the superstitious custom of cooking 
food for angels, and setting it for them (Superst. no. 896). So 
there is a table covered and a pot of food placed for home-smiths 
and kobolds (Dent, sagen, no. 37. 38. 71) ; meat and drink for 
domina Abundia (supra, p. 286) ; money or bread deposited in 
the caves of subterraneans, in going past (Neocorus 1, 262. 560). ' 
There are plants named after elves as well as after gods : alpranlie, 
alpfranke, alfsranke, alpkraut (lonicera periclymen., solanum dul- 
cam.), otherwise called geissblatt, in Denmark troldbiir, in Sweden 
trullbar; dweorges dwosle, pulegium (Lye), Mone's authorities 
spell dwostle, 322 a ; dvergeriis, ace. to Molbech's Dial. Lex. p. 86, 
the spartium scoparium. A latrina was called alfreh, lit. genios 
fugans, Eyrb. saga, cap. 4 (see Suppl.). 

Whereas man grows but slowly, not attaining his full stature 
till after his fifteenth year, and then living seventy years, and a 
giant can be as old as the hills ; the dwarf is already grown up 
in the third year of his life, and a greybeard in the seventh ; 2 
the Elf-king is commonly described as old and white-bearded. 

1 The Old Pruss. and Litli. parstuk (thumbkin) also has food placed for him, 
conf. Lasicz 54. The Lett, behrstuhki is said to mean a child's doll, Bergm. 145. 

2 Emp. Ludwig the Bavarian (1347) writes contemptuously to Markgraf Carl of 
Moravia : ' Becollige, quia nondum venit bora, ut pigmei de Judea (1. India) statura 
cubica evolantes fortitudine gnauica (1. gnanica, i.e. nanica) terras gygantium de- 
trahere debeant in ruinas, et ut pigmei, id est homines bicubitales, qui in anno 
tercio crescunt ad perfectam quantitatem et in septimo anno senescunt et moriun- 
tur, imperent gygantibus.' Pelzel's Carl IV. 1 urk. p. 40. Conf. Bohmer's Font. 
1, 227. 2, 570. Yet this description does not look to me quite German ; the more 
the dwarfs are regarded as elves, there is accorded to them, and especially to elfins 
(as to the Greek oreads), a higher and semi-divine age ; conf. the stories of change- 
lings quoted further on. Laurin, ace. to the poems, was more than 400 years old. 


Accounts of the creation of dwarfs will be presented in chap. 
XIX. ; but they only seem to refer to the earthly form of the 
black elves, not of the light. 

The leading features of elvish nature seem to be the follow- 
ing : — 

Man's body holds a medium between those of the giant and. 
the elf; an elf comes as much short of human size as a giant 
towers above it. All elves are imagined, as small and. tiny, but 
the light ones as well-formed, and. symmetrical, the black as ugly 
and misshapen. The former are radiant with exquisite beauty, 
and wear shining garments: the AS. celfsciene, Ca3dm. 109, 23. 
165, 11, sheen as an elf, bright as angels, the ON. ' MS sem 
alfkona/ fair as elfin, express the height of female loveliness. 
In Rudlieb xvii. 27 a dwarf, on being caught, calls his wife out 
of the cave, she immediately appears, ' parva, nimis pulchra, 
sed et auro vesteque compta/ Fornald. sog. 1, 387 has : ' bat er 
kunnigt i ollum fornum frasognum um )>at fulk, er alfar hetu, 
at bat var miklu friSara enn onnur mankind/ The Engl, elves 
are slender and. puny : Falstaff (1 Henry IV. i. 4) calls Prince 
Henry ' you starveling, you elfskin ! ' 1 The dwarf adds to his 
repulsive hue an ill-shaped, body, a humped, back, and. coarse 
clothing ; when elves and. dwarfs came to be mixed up together, 
the graceful figure of the one was transferred to the other, 
yet sometimes the dwarfs expressly retain the blade or grey 
complexion: ' svart i synen/ p. 457; 'a little black mannikin/ 
Kinderm. no. 92; 'grey mannikin/ Biisching's Woch. nachr. 1, 
98. Their very height is occasionally specified : now they attain 
the stature of a four years' child/ now they appear a great deal 
smaller, to be measured by the span or thumb: 'kiime drier 
spannen lane, gar eislich getan? Elfenm. cxvi. ; two spans high, 
Deut. sag. no. 42; a little wight, c relit als em dumelle lane/ a 
thumb long, Altd. bl. 2, 151; ' ein kleinez weglin (1. wihtttn) 

1 In Denmark popular belief lectures the ellekone as young and captivating 
to look at in front, but bollow at the back like a kneading-trough (Tbiele 1, 118) ; 
which reminds one of Dame Werlt in MHG. poems. 

2 Whether the OHO. pusilin is said of a dwarf as Graff supposes (3, 352 ; conf. 
Swed. pyssling), or merely of a child, like the Lat. pusus, pusio, is a question. The 
Mid. Age gave to its angels these small dimensions of elves and dwarfs : ' Ein 
iegelich enr/el schinet also gestalter als ein kint in jaren vieren (years t) in der 
jugende,' Tit. 5895 (Hahn) ; 'juncliche gemalet als ein kint daz d.-i vtinf jdr (5 
year) alt ist,' Berth. 184. Laurin is taken for the angel Michael; Elberich (Otnit, 
Ettm. 21) and Antilois (Ulr. Alex.) are compared to a child of four. 


dumeln lane,' Ls. 1, 378. In one Danish lay, the smallest trold 
is no bigger than an ant, D.V. 1, 176. Hence in fairy tales 
daumling (thumbling, petit poucet) indicates a dwarfish figure; 
the 8cifCTv\o<; TSato? is to be derived from Sa/cn/A-o? (finger) ; 
TrvyfMaio'i pigmajus from Trvyfirj (fist) ; the 0. Pruss. parstuck, 
perstuch, a dwarf, from Lith. pirsztas, Slav, perst, prst (finger) ; 
and a Bohem. name for a dwarf, pjdimuzjk= sjiaji-maxunkin, from 
pjd' (span). 1 In Sansk. bdl akhily a = geniorum genus, pollicis 
inagnitudinem aequans, sixty thousand of them sprang out of 
Brahma's hair, Bopp's Gloss. Skr. p. 122 a (ed. 2, p. 238 b ) ; bala, 
balaka = puer, parvulus, the ' ilya ' I do not understand. There 
are curious stories told about the deformity of dwarfs' feet, which 
are said to be like those of geese or clacks ; 2 conf. queen Berhta, 

1 When we read in a passage quoted by Jungmann 4, 652 : ' mezi pjdimuzjky 
kraluge trpasljk' (among thurnblings a dwarf is king), it is plain that a trpasljk is 
more than a pjdimuzJk. Can this trp- (Slovak, krpec, krpatec) be conn, with our 
knirps, knips, krips, gribs (v. infra), which means one of small stature, not quite a 
dwarf? Finn, peukalo, a thumbling, Kalew. 13, 67 ; mies peni, pikku mies, little 

man three fingers high 13, 63-8. 24, 144. For dwarf the MHG. has also ' der 

kurze man,' 1 Wigal. 6593. 6685. 6710; 'der loenige man,' 1 Er. 7442. Ulr. Alex, (in 
Wackern.'s Bas. Ms., p. 29 ,J ), in contrast with the 'michel man' or giant. One 
old name for a dwarf was churzibolt, Pertz 2, 104, which otherwise means a short 
coat, Hoff. Gl. 36, 13. lloth. 4576. Conf. urkinde (nanus), Gramm. 2, 789. 

2 Deutsche Sagen, no. 149; I here give a more faithful version, for which I am 

indebted to Hr. Hieron. Hagebuch of Aarau. Vo de hardmandlene uf der Kains- 

flue. Hinder der Arlisbacher egg, zwiischenem dorfle Hard und dem alte Lorenze- 
kapallele, stoht im ene thale so ganz eleigge e griisle vertriiite flue, se sagere 
dRamsflue. uf der hindere site isch se hohl, und dhole het numme e chline igang. 
Do sind denn emol, me weiss nid axact i wele johrgange, so rarige mtindle gsi, die 
sind i die hohle us und i gauge, hand ganz e so es eiges labe gefiiehrt, und en 
apartige hushaltig, und sind ganz bsunderig derhar cho, so warklick gestaltet, und 
mit eim wort, es isch halt kei monsch usene cho, wer se denn au seige, wohar se 
cho seige, und was se tribe, arnel gekochet hand se mit, und wiirzle und beeri 
ggasse. unde a der flue lauft es biichle, und i dem bachle hand die mandle im sum- 
mer badet, wie tilble, aber eis vonene het immer wacht gha, und het pfiffe, wenn 
bpper derhar cho isch, uf dem fuesswag : denn sind se ame gsprunge, was gisch 
was hesch, der barg uf, class ene kei haas noh cho wer, und wie der schwick in 
ehre h'ohle gschloffe. dernabe hand se kem monsch niit zleid tho, im giigetheil, 
gfiilligkaite, wenn se hand chonne. Einisch het der Hardpur es fuederle riswiille 
glade, und wil er elei gsi isch, het ers au fast nid moge. E sones mandle gsehts vo 
der flue obenabe, und chunt der durab zhb'pperle fiber driese, und hilft dem pur, 
was es het moge. wo se do der bindbaum wand ufe thue, so isch das mandle ufem 
wage gsi, und het grichtet, und der pur het Uberunde azoge a de bindchneble. do 
het das mandle sseil nid riicht ume gliret.und wo der pur azieht, schnellt der baurn 
los und trift smandle ane finger und hets wfirst blessiert ; do foht der pur a jom- 
mere und seit ' o heie, o heie, wenns numenau mer begegnet wer ! ' do seit das 
mandle ' abba, das macht niit, salben tho, salben gha.'* mit dene worte springts 
vom wage nabe, het es chriitle abbroche, hets verschaflet und uf das bluetig fin- 

* Swab. ' sell thaun, sell haun,' Schrnid p. 628. More neatly in MHG., ' selbe 
toete, selbe habe,' MS. 1, 10 b . 89 a . 


p. 2S0, and the swan-maidens, p. 429. One is also reminded 
of the blateviieze, Rother 1871. Ernst 3828; conf. Haupt's 
Zeitschr. 7, 289. 

The Mid. Nethl. poem of Brandaen, but no other version of the 
same legend, contains a very remarkable feature. 1 Brandan met 
a man ou the sea, who was a thumb long, and floated on a leaf, 
holding a little bowl in his right hand and a pointer in his left : 
the pointer he kept dipping into the sea and letting water drip 
from it into the bowl ; when the bowl was full, he emptied it out, 
and began filling again : it was his doom to be measuring the 
sea until the Judgment-day (see Suppl.). This liliputian floating 
on the leaf reminds us of ancient, especially Indian myths. 2 

The alfar are a 'people, as the Edda expressly says (Sn. 21), and 

gerle gleit, und das het alles ewiig puzt. do springts wider nfe wage, und bet zurn 
pur gseit, er soil sseil nume wider urne ge. Mangisch, wenn riichtschafne Hit durn 
tag gbeuet oder bunde hand und se sind nit fertig worde bis zobe, und shet oppe 
welle cho riigne, so sind die hardmandle cho, und hand geschaffet und gewiirnet 
druf ine, bis alles irn scharme gsi isch. oder wenns durt dnacht isch cho wattere, 
hand se sheu und schorn, wo dusse glage isch, de lute zuru tenn zue trait, und am 
morge het halt alles gross auge grnacht, und se hand nid gwiisst, wers tho het. den 
hand erst no die mandle kei dank begehrt, nuruenau dass me se gern hat. Amenim 
winter, wenn alles stei und bei gfrore gsi isch, sind die mandle is oberst hus cho 
zArlispach : se hand shalt gar guet chonnen mit dene lute, wo dert gwohnt hand, 
und sind ame durt dnacht ufem ofe glage, und am morge vortag hand se se wieder 
drus grnacht. was aber gar gspiissig gsi isch, si hand ehre fiiessle nie viire glo, hand 
es charlachroths mantele trait, vom hals bis life bode nabe. jetzt hets im dorf so 
gwunderige meitle und buebe gha, die sind einisch znacht vor das hus go gen iische 
streue, dass se gsache, was die hardmandle fiir fiiessle hebe. und was h&ndse 
gfunde ? sisch frile wunderle : ante und geissfiless sind in der asche abdriickt gsi. 
Aber vo salber stund a isch keis mandle meh cho, und se sind au niimme uf der 
Eamsflue bliebe, i dkrachehand se se verscJdoffe, tief id geissflue hindere, und hand 
keis zeiche me von ene ge, und chomme niimme, so lang dliit eso boshaft sind 

(see Suppl.). [Substance of the above. Earth-mannikins on the Eamsflue: 

lived in a cave with a narrow entrance ; cooked nothing, ate roots and berries ; 
bathed in a brook like doves, set one to watch, and if he whistled, were up the hills 
faster than hares, and slipt into their cave. Never hurt men, often helped : the 
farmer at Hard was alone loading, a dwarf came down, helped to finish, got on the 
waggon, did not properly run the rope over the bind-pole, it slipped off, the pole 
flew up and hurt him badly. Farmer: 'I wish it had happened tome.' Dwarf: 
'Not so; self do, self have.' Got down, picked a herb, and cured the wound in- 
stantly. Often, when honest folk cut hay or tied corn, dwarfs helped them to 
finish and get it under shelter; or in the night, if rain came on, they brought in 
what was lying cut, and didn't the people stare in the morning ! One severe winter 
they came every night to a house at Arlisbach, slept on the oven, departed before 
dawn; wore scarlet cloaks reaching to the ground, so that their feet were never seen ; 
but some prying people sprinkled ashes before the house, on which were seen the 
next morning marks of duck's and goose's feet. They never showed themselves 
again, and never will, while men are so spiteful.] 

1 Blommaert's Oudvlaemsche gedichten 1, 118' 1 . 2, 2G*. 

2 Brahma, sitting on a lotus, floats musing across the abysses of the sea. Vishnu, 
when after Brahma's death the waters have covered all the worlds, sits in the shape 
of a tiny infant on a leaf of the pipala (fig-tree), and floats on the sea of milk, 
sucking the toe of his right foot. (Asiat. lies. 1, 315.) 


as the Alvismal implies by putting alfar, dvergar, and helbuar (if 
I may use the word), by the side of men, giants, gods, ases and 
vanir, each as a separate class of beings, with a language of its 
own. Hence too the expressions ' das stille volk ; the good 
people (p. 456) ; huldu-folk ; ' in Lausitz ludhi, little folk (Wend, 
volksl. 2, 268), from lud, liud (nation), OHG. liut, Boh. lid; and 
in Welsh y teidu (the family), y tylwyth teg (the fair family, the 
pretty little folk, conf. Owen sub v. tylwyth, and Diefenbach's 
Celtica ii. 102. Whether we are to understand by this a histo- 
rical realm situate in a particular region, I leave undecided here. 
Dvergmal (sermo nanorum) is the ON. term for the echo : a very 
expressive one, as their calls and cries resound in the hills, and 
when man speaks loud, the dwarf replies, as it were, from the 
mountain. HerrauSssaga, cap. 11, p. 50: i SigurSr stilti sva, 
hatt horpuna, at dvergmal qva'S i hollunni/ he played so loud 
on the harp, that dwarf's voice spoke in the hall. When heroes 
dealt loud blows, ' dvorgamal sang uj qvorjun hamri/ echo 
sang in every rock (Lyngbye, p. 464, 470) ; when hard they 
hewed, 'dvorgamal sang uj fiodlun/ echo sang in the mountains 
(ibid. 468). ON. ' qveffr vicf i klettunum/ reboant rupes. Can 
grceti dlfa (ploratus nanorum) in the obscure Introduction to 
the Hamdismal (Sasm. 269 a ) mean something similar ? Even our 
German heroic poetry seems to have retained the same image : 

Dem fehten allez nach erhal, To the fighting everything 

do beide berg und ouch diu tal then both hill and also dale 
gciben ir slegen stimme. gave voice to their blows. 

(Ecke, ed. Hagen, 161.) 

Daz da beide berg und tal 

vor ir slegen wilde wider einander allez hal. (ibid. 171.) 

The hills not only rang again with the sword-strokes of the 
heroes, but uttered voice and answer, i.e. the dwarfs residing in 
them did. 1 

This nation of elves or dwarfs has over it a Icing. In Norse 
legend, it is true, I remember no instance of it among alfar 
or dvergar; yet Huldra is queoi of the huldrefolk (p. 272), as 

1 The Irish for echo is similar, though less beautiful : viuc alia, swine of the rock. 


Berchta is of the heinclien (p. 276), and English tradition tells 
of an elf-queen, Chaucer's C. T. 6442 (the fairy queen, Percy 
3, 207 seq.) ; I suppose, because Gallic tradition likewise made 
female fairies (fees) the more prominent. The OFr. fable of 
Huon of Bordeaux knows of a roi Oberon, i.e. Auberon for 
Alberon, an alb by his very name : the kingdom of the fays 
(royaume de la feerie) is his. Our poem of Orendel cites a dwarf 
Alban by name. In Otnit a leading part is played by kilnec 
Alberich, Mberich, to whom are subject " inane c berg und talj" 
the Nib. lied makes him not a king, but a vassal of the kings 
Schilbung and Nibelung ; a nameless king of dwarfs appears in 
the poem of Ecke 80 ; and elsewhere king Goldemdr (Ueut. held- 
ensage p. 174. Haupt's Zeitschr. 6, 522-3), king Sinnels and 
Laurin (MS. 2, 15 a ) ; ' der getwerge hilnec Bilei, 3 Er. 2086. 
The German folk-tales also give the dwarf nation a king (no. 
152); king of erdmiinnchen (Kinderm. 3, 167). Giibich (Gibika, 
p. 137) is in the Harz legends a dwarf -king. Heiling is prince of 
the dwarfs (no. 151). l These are all kings of black elves, except 
Oberon, whom I take to be a light alb. It appears that human 
heroes, by subduing the sovereign of the elves, at once obtain 
dominion over the spirits ; it may be in this sense that Volundr 
is called visi dlfa (p. 444), and Siegfried after conquering Elbe- 
rich would have the like pretensions (see Suppl.). 

The ON. writings have preserved plenty of dwarfs' names 
which are of importance to the study of mythology (loc. princ. 
Saam. 2 b 3 a ). I pick out the rhyming forms Vitr and Litr, Fill 
and Kill, Fialarr and Galarr, Skirvir and Virvir, Anar and Onar, 
Finnr and Ginnr, as well as the absonant Bicor and Bavor. 
Ndr and Ndinn are manifestly synonymous (mortuus), and so 
are Thrdr and Thrdinn (contumax, or rancidus?). With Ndinn 
agrees 'Dtli an (mortuus again); with Oinn (timidus) Moinn ; 
Dvalinn, Durinn, Thorinn, Fundhvn, shew at least the same 

1 A curious cry of grief keeps recurring in several dwarf-stories: ' the king is 
dead! Urban is dead! old mother Pumpe is dead!' (Buscking's Woch. nadir. 1. 
99. 101); tke old schumpe is dead ! (Legend of Bonikau), MHG. sckumpIV, Pragm. 
36 c ; conf. Bange's Tkiir. ckron. 49*, where again tkey say ' king Knoblauch 
(Kfirlic) is dead ! ' Taking into account the saying in Saxony, ' de gauefru ist mi 
al dot! ' with evident allusion to the motherly goddess (p. 253), and the simil ar 
phrase in Scandinavia, ' nu eru dauo'ar allar disir !' (p. 40'2); all these exclama- 
tions seem to give vent to a grief, dating from the oldest times, for the death of 
some superior being (see Suppl.). 


participial ending. Alfr, Ganddlfr, and Vinddlfr place the con- 
nexion of elves and dwarfs beyond doubt. Ai occurs twice, 
and seems to mean avus, as in Ssem. 100 a ; Finnr and Billingr 
are like the heroes' names discussed on pp. 373, 380. Nyr, and 
Niffi, Nyr and Nyrdcfr have reference to phases of the moon's 
lie-lit; a few other names will be touched upon later. In Sasm. 
45 b and Sn. 48. 130 all dwarfs are said to be ' I valla synir,' 
sons of Ivaldi, and he seems identical with the elvish Ivaldr, 
father of I/Sunn, Saem. 89% just as Folkvaldr and Folkvaldi (AS. 
Folcwealda), Domvaldr and Domvaldi = Domaldi, are used in- 
differently. Ivaldr answers to the Dan. Evald and our Ewald, 
a rare name in the older documents : we know the two St. 
Ewalds (niger et albus) who were martyred in the elder Pipings 
time (695) and buried at Cologne, but were of English origin. 
Beda 5, 10 spells it Hew aid, and the AS. transl. Hedwold (see 

Of the dwellings of light elves in heaven the folk-tales have 
no longer anything to tell ; the more frequently do they de- 
scribe those of dwarfs in the rifts and caves of the mountains. 
Hence the AS. names bergcelfen, duncelfen, muntcelfen. ON. 'by 
ec for iorcf neftan, a ec iindr steini staft/ I dwell underneath 
the earth, I have under stone my stead, Saem. 48 a . 'dvergr sat 
undir steininum,' Yngl. saga, cap. 15. 'dvergar bua i ior&a oc 
i steinum,' Sn. 15. Mbenstein, Blphinstone, are names of noble 
families, see Elivenstein, Weisth. 1, 4. In the Netherlands 
the hills containing sepulchral urns are vulgarly denominated 
alfenbcrgen (Belg. mus. 5, 64). Treasures lie hidden in graves 
as they do in the abodes of elves, and the dead are subterraneans 
as these are. And that is why dwarfs are called erdmdnnlein, 
erdmanneken, in Switzerland hdrdmdndle, sometimes even unter- 
irdische, Dan. under jordishe. 1 They scamper over moss and fell, 
and are not exhausted by climbing steep precipices : ' den wilden 

1 I cannot yet make out the name arweqgers, by which the earth-men are called 
up in Kinderm. 2, 163-4. [erd-wihte? v. ar- for erd-, p. 467, 1. 3 ; and wegiin, p. 449] . 
The ON. arvakr is hardly the same (see Suppl.)- In Pruss. Samogitia ' de uncler- 
MrdscTikes'' ; the tales about them carefully collected by Eeusch, no. 48-59. The 
Wends of Luneburg called subterranean spirits g'orzoni (hill-mannikius, fr. gora, 
hill), and the hills they baunted are still shown. When they wished to borrow 
baking utensils of men, they gave a sign without being seen, and people placed 
them outside the door for them. In the evening they brought them back, knocking 
at the window and adding a loaf by way of thanks (Jugler's Worterb.). The Es-y 
thonian mythology also has its subterraneans (ma allused, under ground). 


getivergen waere ze stigen da genuoc/ enough climbing for wild 
dwarfs, says Wh. 57, 25, speaking of a rocky region. 1 The popu- 
lar beliefs in Denmark about the biergmand, biergfolk, biergtrold, 
are collected in Molbech's Dial. lex. p. 35-6. The biergmand's 
wife is a biergehone. These traditions about earth-men and 
mountain-sprites all agree together. Slipping 3 into cracks and 
crevices of the hills, they seem to vanish suddenly, 'like the 
schwick/ as the Swiss tale has it, and as suddenly they come up 
from the ground ; in all the places they haunt, there are shown 
such dwarfs holes, querlich's holes. So the ludhi in Lausitz make 
their appearance out of underground passages like mouseholes ; 
a Breton folk-song speaks of the horred's grotto (Villemarque 
1, 36). In such caves they pursue their occupations, collecting 
treasures, forging weapons curiously wrought ; their kings fashion 
for themselves magnificent chambers underground, Elberich, 
Laurin dwell in these wonderful mountains, men and heroes at 
times are tempted down, loaded with gifts, and let go, or held 
fast (see Suppl.). Dietrich von Bern at the close of his life is 
fetched away by a dwarf, Deut. heldens. p. 300 ; of Etzel, says 
the Nibelungs' Lament 2167, one knows not ' ob er sich ver- 
sliiffe in locher der stein wende,' whether he have slipped away 
into holes of the rocks 3 : meaning probably, that, like Tann- 
hauser and faithful Eckart, he has got into the mount wherein 
Lame Venus dwells. Of this Dame Venus's mount we have no 
accounts before the 15-16th centuries; one would like to know 
what earlier notions lie at the bottom of it : has Dame Venus 
been put in the place of a subterranean elf-queen, or of a goddess, 
such as Dame Holda or Frikka ? Heinrich von Morunge sings 
of his beloved, MS. 1, 55 a : 

Und dunket mich, wie si ge zuo mil* dur ganze muren, 

ir trust und ir helfe lazent mich niht triiren ; 

swenne si wil, so viieret sie mich hinnen 

mit ir wizen hant ho he iiber die zinnen. 

ich weene sie ist ein Venus here. 

1 Other instances are collected in Ir. Elfenm. lxxvi. ■ den here bfiten wildiu 
getiverc,' wild dwarfs inhabited the hill, Sigenot 118. 

2 Sliefen is said of them as of the fox in lleinh. xxxi. ; our suhst. schlucht 
stands for sluft (beschwichtigen, lucht, kracht.for swiften, lnft, kraft), hence a hole 
to slip into. 

3 Conf. Deutsche sagen, no. 38J, on Theodeiic's soul, how it is conveyed into 
Vulcan's alj\ss. 



(Metliinks she comes to me through solid walls, Her help, her 
comfort lets me nothing fear ; And when she will she wafteth me 
from here With her white hand high o'er the pinnacles. I ween 
she is a Venus high.) He compares her then to a Venus or 
Holda, with the elvish power to penetrate through walls and 
carry you away over roof and tower (see chap. XXXI., Tann- 
hauser; and Suppl.). Accordingly, when a Hessian nursery- 
tale (no. 13) makes three haule-mannerchen appear, these are 
henchmen of Holle, elves in her retinue, and what seems espe- 
cially worthy of notice is their being three, and endowing with 
gifts : it is a rare thing to see male beings occupy the place of 
the fortune-telling wives. Elsewhere it is rather the little earth- 
wives that appear; in Hebel (ed. 5, p. 268) Eveli says to the 
wood-wife : ' God bless you, and if you're the earth-mannikin' s 
ivife, I won't be afraid of you.' l 

There is another point of connexion with Holda : the ex- 
pressions ' die guten holden' (p. 266), c guedeholden' penates 
(Teutonista), or holdichen, holdeken, holderchen seem perfectly 
synonymous with ' the good elves;' holdo is literally a kind, 
favourably disposed being, and in Iceland liuflingar (darlings) 
and huldufolk, Imldumenn (p. 272) are used for alfar. The form 
of the Dan. hyldemand is misleading, it suggests the extraneous 
notion of hyld (sambucus, elder- tree), and makes Dame Holda 
come out as a hyldemoer or hyldeqvind, viz., a dryad incorporated 
with that tree (Thiele 1, 132) ; but its real connexion with the 
huldre is none the less evident. Thus far, then, the elves are 
good-natured helpful beings ; they are called, as quoted on p. 
452, the stille volk (Deut. sagen, No. 30-1), the good people, good 
neighbours, peaceful folk (Gael, daoine shi, Ir. daoine maith, Wei. 
dynion mad). When left undisturbed in their quiet goings on, 
they maintain peace with men, and do them services when they 
can, in the way of smith-work, weaving and baking. Many a 
time have they given to people of their new-baked bread or cakes 
(Mone's Anz. 7, 475). They too in their turn require man's 
advice and assistance in certain predicaments, among which are 

i One winter Hadding was eating bis supper, when suddenly an earth-wife 
pushed her head vp through the floor by the fireside, and offered him green vege- 
tables. Saxo,p. 16, calls her cicutarum gerula, and makes her take Hadding into 
the subterranean land, where are meadows covered with grass, as in our nursery- 
tales which describe Dame Holla's underground realm. This grass- wife resembles 
a little earth-wife. 


to be reckoned three cases in particular. In the first place, they 
fetch goodwives, midwives, to assist she-dwarfs in labour ; l next, 
men of understanding to divide a treasure, to settle a dispute ; 2 
thirdly, they borrow a hall to hold their weddings in ; s but they 
requite every favour by bestowing jewels which bring luck to the 
man's house and to his descendants. They themselves, however, 
have much knowledge of occult healing virtues in plants and 
stones. 4 In Rudlieb xvii. 18, the captured dwarf retorts the 
taunt of treachery in the following speech : 

1 Ranzan, Alvensleben, Hahn. (Deut. sag. no. 41, 68-9) ; Miillenh. Schlesw. 
hoist, sag. no. 443-4. Asbibrn Norw. s. 1, 18. Irish legends and fairy tales 1, 
245-250. Mone's Anz. 7, 475 ; conf. Thiele 1, 36. — Hulpher's Samlingen oin 

Jamtland (Westeras 1775, p. 210) has the following Swedish story : ' ar 1660, da 

jag tillika nied ruin hustru var gangen til faboderne, som ligga 'i mil ifran llagunda 
prastegard, och der sent oin qvallen suttit och talt en stund, kom en liteu man 
ingaende genoni dbren, och bad min hustru, det ville bon hjelpa bans hustru, som 
da lag och qvaldes med barn, karlen var eljest liten til viixten, svart i syneu, och 
med gamla gra klader forsedd. Jag och min hustru sutto en stund och undrade 
pa deune mannen, emedan vi understodo, at han var et troll, och libit beriittas, det 
sadane, af bondfolk vettar kallade, sig altid i fabodarne ujipehalla, sedan folket om 
hosten sig derifran begifvit. Men som han 4 a 5 ganger sin begjiran payrkade, och 
man derhos betankte, hvad skada bondfolket beratta sig ibland af vettarne lidit, 
da de antingen svurit pa dem, eller eljest vist dem med vranga ord til helvetet ; 
ty fattade jag da til det radet, at jag laste ofver min hustru nagre boner, valsignade 
henne, och bad henne i Cuds namn foljamed honom. Hon tog sa i hastighet nagre 
gamla linklader med sig, och fiilgde honom at, men jag blef qvar sittande. Sedan 
nar hon mig vid aterkomsten berattat, at da hon gatt med mannen utom porten, 
tykte hon sig liksom foras udi vadret en stund, och kom sa uti en stuga, hvarest 
bredevid var en liten mork kammare, das bans hustru lag och vandades med barn 
i en siing, min hustru liar sa stigit til henne, och efter en liten stund bjelpt henne, 
da hon fodde barnet, och det med lika atbbrder, som andra menniskor plaga hafva. 
Karlen har sedan tilbudit henne mat, men som hon dertil nekade, ty tackade han 
henne och fblgde henne at, hvarefter hon ater likasom farit i vadret, och kom efter 
en stund til porten igen vid passklockan 10. Emedlertid voro en hoper gamla 
silfverskedar lagde pa en hylla i stugan, och fann min hustru dem, da hon andra 
dagen stbkade i vraarne : kunnandes forsta, at de af vettret voro dit lagde. At sa 
i sanning iir skedt, vitnar jag med mitt nanins undersattande. Ragunda, d. 12 

april, 1671. Pet. Rahm.' [Substance of the foregoing : 1, the undersigned, and 

my wife were accosted by a little man with black fac< and old gray clothes, who 
begged my wife to come and aid his wife then in labour. Seeing he was a troll, 
such as the peasantry call vettar (wights), I prayed over my wife, blessed her, and 
bade her go. She seemed for a time to be borne along by the wind, found his wife 
in a little dark room, and helped, etc. Refused food, was carried home in the 
same way ; found next day a heap of old silver vessels brought by the vettr.1 

In Finland the vulgar opinion holds, that under the altars of churches there live 
small mis-shapen beings called hirkonwdki (church-folk) ; that when their women 
have difficult labour, they can be relieved by a Christian woman visiting them and 
laying her hand on them. Such service they reward liberally with gold and silver. 
Mnemosyne, Abo 1821, p. 313. 

2 Pref. p. xxx. Neocorus 1, 542. Kindcrm. 2, 43. 3, 172. 225. Nib. 92, 3. 
Bit. 7819. Conf. Deutsche heldensagen, p. 78. 

3 Hoia (Deut. sagen, no. 35). Bonikau (Elisabeth von Orleans, Strassb. 1789, 
p. 133 ; Leipzig 1820, p. 450-1). Busching'a Wbchentl. nachr. 1, 98 ; conf. 101. 

4 The wounded hardmandle, p. 450-1. Here are two Swedish Btories (riven in 
Udmau's Bahusliin pp. 191, 224 : Bibru Martensson, accompanied by an archer, 


Absit ut inter nos unquam regnaverit haec fraus ! 
non tarn longaevi tunc essemus neque sani. 
Inter vos nemo loquitur nisi corde doloso, 
hinc neque ad aetatem maturam pervenietis : 
pro cuj usque fide sunt ejus tempora vitae. 
Non aliter loquimur nisi sicat corde tenemus, 
neque cibos varios edinms morbos generantes, 
long ias incolumes hinc nos durabimus ac vos. 

Thus already in the 10th century the dwarf complains of the 
faithlessness of mankind, and partly accounts thereby for the 
shortness of human life, while dwarfs, because they are honest 
and feed on simple viands, have long and healthy lives. More 
intimately acquainted with the secret powers of nature, they can 
with greater certainty avoid unwholesome food. This remark- 
able passage justifies the opinion of the longevity of dwarfs ; and 
their avoidance of human food, which hastens death, agrees 
with the distinction drawn out on p. 318 between men and gods 
(see Suppl.). 

went hunting in the high woods of Ornekulla ; there they found a bergsmed 
(mountain-smith) asleep, and the huntsman ordered the archer to seize him, but 
he declined : 'Pray God shield you ! the bergsmith will fling you down the hill.' 
But the huntsman was so daring, he went up and laid hands on the sleeper ; the 
bergsmith cried out, and begged they would let him go, he had a wife and seven 
little ones, and he would forge them anything they liked, they had only to put the 
iron and steel on the cliff, and they'd presently find the work lying finished in the 
same place. Biorn asked him, whom he worked for ? ' For my fellows,' he 
replied. As Biorn would not release him, he said: 'Had I my cap-of-darkness 
(uddehat, p. 463), you should not carry me away ; but if you don't let me go, none 
of your posterity will attain the greatness you enjoy, but will go from bad to worse.' 
Which afterwards came true. Biorn secured the bergsmith, and had him put in 
prison at Bohus, but on the third day he had disappeared. 

At Mykleby lived Swen, who went out hunting one Sunday morning, and on the 
hill near Tyfweholan he spied a fine buck with a ring about his neck ; at the same 
instant a cry came out of the hill : ' Look, the man is shooting our ring-buck ! ' 
' Nay,' cried another voice, ' he had better not, he has not washed this morning ' 
(i.e., been sprinkled with holy water in church). When Swen heard that, he 

immediately , washed himself in haste, and shot the ring-buck. Then 

arose a great screaming and noise in the hill, and one said : ' See, the man has 
taken his belt-flask and washed himself, but I will pay him out.' Another 
answered : ' You had better let it be, the white buck will stand by him.' A tre- 
mendous uproar followed, and a host of trolls filled the wood all round. Swen 
threw himself on the ground, and crept under a mass of roots ; then came into his 
mind what the troll had said, that the white buck, as he contemptuously called the 
church, would stand by him. So he made a vow, that if God would help him out 
of the danger, he would baud over the buck's ring to Mykleby church, the horns to 
Torp, and the hide to Langeland. Having got home uninjured, he performed all 
this: the ring, down to the year 1732, has been the knocker on Mykleby church 
door, and is of some unknown metal, like iron ore ; the buck's horn was preserved 
in Torp church, and the skin in Langeland church. 


Whilst in this and other ways the dwarfs do at times have 
dealings with mankind, yet on the whole they seem to shrink 
from man; they give the impression of a downtrodden afflicted 
race, which is on the point of abandoning its ancient home 
to new and more powerful invaders. There is stamped on 
their character something shy and something heathenish, which 
estranges them from intercourse with christians. They chafe 
at human faithlessness, which no doubt would primarily mean 
the apostacy from heathenism. In the poems of the Mid. Ages, 
Laurin is expressly set before us as a heathen. It goes sorely 
against the dwarfs to see churches built, hell-ringing (supra, 
p. 5) disturbs their ancient privacy ; they also hate the clearing 
of forests, agriculture, new fangled pounding-machinery for ore. 1 

1 More fully treated of iu Ir. Elfenm. xciv. xcv. ; conf. Thiele 1, 42. 2, 2. Fare 
p. 17, 18. Heinchen driven away by grazing herds and tinkling sheepbells, Variscia 
2, 101. Hessian tales of wichtelmannerchen, Kinderm. no. 39, to which I add the 

following one : On the Schwalm near Uttershausen stands the Dosenberg ; close 

to the river's bank are two apertures, once tbe exit and entrance holes of the 
wichtelmdnner. The grandfather of farmer Tobi of Singlis often had a little 
wichtelniann come to him in a friendly manner in his field. One day, when tbe 
farmer was cutting corn, the wichtel asked him if he would undertake a carting job 
across the river that night for a handsome price in gold. The farmer said yes, and 
in the evening the wichtel brought a sack of wheat to the farmhouse as earnest ; so 
four horses were harnessed, and the farmer drove to the foot of the Dosenberg. 
Out of the holes the wichtel brought heavy invisible loads to the waggon, which the 
farmer took through the water to the other side. So he went backwards and 
forwards from ten in the evening till four in the morning, and his horses at last 
got tired. Then said the wichtel : ' That will do, now you shall see what you have 
been carrying.' He bid the farmer look over his right shoulder, who then saw the 
whole wide field full of little wichtelmen. Said the wichtel: ' For a thousand years 
we have dwelt in the Dosenberg, our time is up now, we must away to another 
country ; but there is money enough left in the mountain to content the whole 
neighbourhood.' He then loaded Tobi's waggon full of money, and went Ins way. 
The farmer with much trouble got his treasure home, and was now a rich man ; 
his descendants are still well-to-do people, but the wichtelmen have vanished from 
the land for ever. On the top of the Dosenberg is a bare place where nothing will 
grow, it was bewitched by the ivichtel holding their trysts upon it. Every seven 
years, generally on a Friday, you may see a high blue flame over it, covering a 
larger space of ground than a big caldron. People call it the geldfeuer, they have 
brushed it away with their feet (tor it holds no heat), in hopes of finding treasure, 
but in vain : the devil had always some new hocuspocus to make some little word 
pop out of their mouths. 

Then, lastly, a Low Saxon story of the Aller country : Tau Offeusen bin 

Kloster Wienhusen was en groten buern, Hovennann neune he sick, die bane ok en 
schip up der Aller. Eins dages komt 2 Hie tau jum un segget, he scholle se over dat 
water schippen. Tweimal fauert hei over de Aller, jodesmal na den groten rume, 
den se Allero heiten dauet, dat is ne grote unminscldiche wische lan^' an breit, dat 
man se kums afkiken kann. Ans de buer taun tweitenmalo over efauert is, 
ein von den twarmen to ome : ' Wut du nu ne summe geldes hebben, oder wut du 
na koptal betalt sin? ' ' Ick will leiver ne summe geld nemen ' Bsi de bner. Do 
nimt de eine von den liitjen Wen sinen haut af, un settet den dem Bohipper up : 
' Du herrst dik doch beter estan, wenn du na koptal efodert herrst ' segt de twarm ; 


Breton legend informs us : A man had dug a treasure out of a 
dwarf's hole, and then cautiously covered his floor with ashes and 
glowing embers ; so when the dwarfs came at midnight to get 
their property back, they burnt their feet so badly, that they set 
up a loud wail (supra, p. 41 3) and fled in haste, but they smashed 
all his crockery. Villemarque 1, 42 (see Suppl.). 

From this dependence of the elves on man in some things, 
and their mental superiority in others, there naturally follows 
a hostile relation between the two. Men disregard elves, elves 
do mischief to men and teaze them. It was a very old belief, 
that dangerous arrows were shot down from the air by elves ; 
this evidently means light elves, it is never mentioned in stories 
of dwarfs, and the AS. formula couples together ' esagescot and 
ylfagescot,' these elves being apparently armed with weapons 
like those of the gods themselves; 1 the divine thunderbot is even 
called an albsclioss (pp. 179, 187), and in Scotland the elf-arrow, 
elf-flint, elf-bolt is a hard pointed wedge believed to have been 
dischai'ged by spirits ; the turf cut out of the ground by light- 
ning is supposed to be thrown up by them. 2 On p. 187 I have 
already inferred, that there must have been some closer con- 
nexion, now lost to us, between elves and the Thundergod : if it 
be that his bolts were forged for him by elves, that points rather 
to the black elves. 

Their touch, their breath may bring sickness or death on man 
and beast; 3 one whom their stroke has falleu on, is lost or in- 
capable (Danske viser 1, 328) : lamed cattle, bewitched by them, 

un de buer, de vorher nichts nich seien harre, un den et so licbte in schipp vorko- 
rnen was, ans of he nichts inne herre, siit de ganze Allero von luter lutjen minschen 
krimmeln un wimmeln. Dat sind de twarme west, dei wier trokken sind. Von der 
tit heft Hovermanns noch immer vull geld ehat, dat senich kennen deen, averst mi 
sind se sau ein nan annern ut estorven, un de hof is verkoft. ' Wann ist denn das 
gewesen ? ' Vor olen tien, ans de twarme noch sau in der welt wesen sind, nu 
gift et er wol kerne mehr, vor driittig, virzig jaren. [Substance of the foregoing : 

Hbvermann, a large farmer at Offensen, had also a ship on the R. Aller. Two 

little men asked him to ferry them over. He did so twice, each time to a large 
open space called Allero. Dwarf : ' Will you have a lump sum, or be paid so much 
a head ? ' Farmer : ' A lump sum.' Dwarf : ' You'd better have asked so much 
a head.' He put his own hat on the farmer's head, who then saw the whole Allero 
swarming with little men, who had been ferried across. The Hovermanns grew rich, 
have now all died out, farm sold. ' When did that happen ? ' Ages ago, in the 
olden time, when dwarfs were in the world, 30 or 40 years ago.] 

1 Arrows of the Servian vila, p. 436. The Norw. ali-skudt, elf-shotten, is said 
of sick cattle, Sommerfelt Saltdalens prastegield, p. 119, Scot, el/shot. 

2 Irish Elf-stories xlv. xlvi. cii. 

3 Ibid. ciii. 


are said in Norway to be dverg-slagen (Hallager p. 20) ; the term 
elbentrotsch for silly halfwitted men, whom their avenging hand 
has touched, was mentioned on p. 443. One who is seduced by 
elves is called in Danish ellevild, and this ellevildelse in reference 
to women is thus described: 'at elven legede med dem.' 
Blowing puffing beings language itself shews them to be from 
of old : as spiritus comes from spirare, so does geist, ghost from 
the old verb gisan (flari, cum impetu ferri) ; the ON. gustr, 
Engl, gust, is flatus, and there is a dwarf named Gustr (Seem. 
181 b ) ; x other dwarfs, Austri, Vestri, Nor&ri, Su&ri (Sasui. 2\ Sn. 
9. 15. 16) betoken the four winds, while Vindalfr, still a dwarf's 
name, explains itself. 2 Beside the breathing, the mere look of 
an elf has magic power : this our ancient idiom denominates 
intsehan (torve intueri, Gramm. 2,810), MHG. entsehen: f ich 
han in gesegent (blessed), er was entsehen,' Eracl. 3239 ; 'von 
der elbe wirt entsehen vil maneger man,' MS. 1, 50 b (see Suppl.). 
The knot-holes in wood are popularly ascribed to elves. In 
Smaland a tale is told about the ancestress of a family whose 
name is given, that she was an elf maid, that she came into the 
house through a knot-hole in the wall with the sunbeams ; she was 
married to the son, bore him four children, then vanished the 
same way as she had come. Afzelius 2, 145. Thiele 2, 18. 
And not only is it believed that they themselves can creep 
through, but that whoever looks through can see things other- 
wise hidden from him ; the same thing happens if j r ou look 
through the hole made in the skin of a beast by an elf's arrow. 
In Scotland a knot-hole is called elf bore, says Jamieson : ' a hole 
in a piece of wood, out of which a knot has dropped or been 
driven : viewed as the operation of the fairies.' They also say 
auwisbore, Jutish atisbor (Molbech's Dial. lex. p. 22. 94). If on 
the hill inhabited by elves the following rhyme be uttered 15 
times : 

iillkuon, iillkuon, est du her inn, 

saa ska du herud paa 15 iegepinu ! 

(elf-woman, art thou in here, so shalt thou come out through 1 5 

1 Norweg. ah-gust, an illness caused by having been breathed upon by elves, 
Hallager 4 b . 

2 Old French legend has an elf called Zephyr ; there is a German home-sprite 
Blaserle, Mone's Anzeiger 1834, p. 200. 


oak knot-holes, egepind), the elfin is bound to make her appear- 
ance, Molb. Dial. 99 (see Suppl.). 

In name, and still more in idea, the elf is connected with the 
ghostlike butterfly, the product of repeated changes of form. 
An OHG. gloss (Graff 1, 243) says : brucus, locusta quae nondum 
volavit, quam vulgo albam vocant. The alp is supposed often 
to assume the shape of a butterfly, and in the witch-trials the 
name of elb is given by tui-ns to the caterpillar, to the chrysalis, 
and to the insect that issues from it. And these share even the 
names of gute hoi den and hose dinger (evil things) with the spirits 

These light airy sprites have an advantage over slow unwieldy 
man in their godlike power (p. 325) of vanishing or making 
themselves invisible. 1 No sooner do they appear, than they are 
snatched away from our eyes. Only he that wears the ring can 
get a sight of Elberich, Ortn. 2, 68. 70. 86. 3, 27. With the 
light elves it is a matter of course, but neither have the black 
ones forfeited the privilege. The invisibility of dwarfs is usually 
lodged in a particular part of their dress, a hat or a cloak, and 
when that is accidentally dropt or cast aside, they suddenly 
become visible. The dwarf-tales tell of nebelhappen (Deut. sag. 
nos. 152-3-5), of gray coats and red caps (Thiele 1, 122. 135), 
of scarlet cloaks (supra, p. 451n.). 3 Earlier centuries used the 
words helkappe, helkeplein, helkleit (Altd. bl. 1, 256), nebelkappe 
(MS. 2, 156 a . 258 b ; Morolt 2922. 3932) and tamlzappe. By Albe- 
rich's and afterwards Sigfrit's tamkappe (Nib. 98, 3. 336, 1. 
442, 2. 1060, 2) or simply Imppe (335, 1) we must understand 
not a mere covering for the head, but an entire cloak ; for 
in 337, 1 we have also tarnhilt, the protecting skin, and the 

1 ' Hujus tempore principis (Heinrici ducis Karinthiae) in montanis suae 
ditionis gens gnava in cavernis montiurn habitavit, cum bominibus vescebantur, 
ludebant, bibebant, choreas ducebant, sed invisibiliter. Literas scribebant, rem- 
publicam inter se gerebant, legem habentes et principem, fidem catholicam pro- 
ritentes, domicilia hominum latenter intrantes, bominibus consedentes et arridentes. 
. . . Principe subducto, nihil de eis amplius est auditum. Dicitur quod 
gemmas g est ant, quae eos reddunt invisibiles, quia deformitatem et parvitatem cor- 
porum erubescunt.' Anon. Leobiens. ad ann. 1335 (Pez 1, 940 a ). 

2 01. Wormius's pref. to Clausson's Dan. transl. of Snorre, Copenh. 1633 : ' der- 
for sigis de (dverger) at halve hcitte paa, huormid kunde giore sig usynlig.' Other 
proofs are collected in Ir. Elfenm. lxxiv. Ixxv. A schretel wears a rotez keppel on 
him (not on his head), ibid. cxvi. Bollenhagen's ' bergmiinnlein ' wear little white 
shirts and pointed caps, Froschmeuseler xx. v 1 '. Maugis, the Carolingian sorcerer, 
is called ' lerres (latro) o le noir chaperon.' 1 


schretePs r r6tez heppel' becomes in H. Sachs 1, 280* a ' mantel 

scharlacb rot des zwergleins.' Beside invisibility, this cloak 
imparts superior strength, and likewise control over the dwarf 
nation and their hoard. In other instances the cap alone is 
meant: a Norwegian folk-tale in Faye p. 30 calls it uddehat 
(pointed hat ?), and a home-sprite at Hildesheim bears the name 
of Eodeken from the felt hat he wore. Probably the OHG-. helot- 
helm (latibulum), Gl. Hrab. 969% the OS. helith-helm, Hel. 164, 
29, AS. heolShelm, Cod. Exon. 362, 31, haeWhelm, Casdm. 29, 2, 
ON. hiahnr hnliz (an Eddie word for cloud), Seem. 50V and tne 
AS. grimhelm, Ca3dm. 188, 27. 198, 20. Beow. 666, all have a 
similar meaning, though the simple helm and grime (p. 238) 
already contain the notion of a covering and a mask ; for helm 
is from helan (celare) as huot, hood, or hat, from huotan (tegere) . 
No doubt other superior beings, beside elves and dwarfs, wore 
the invisible-making garment ; I need only mention Oftin's hat 
with turned-up brim (p. 146), Mercury's petasvs, Wish's hat, 
which our fairy-tales still call ivishing-hat, 2 and Pluto's or Orcus's 
helmet (fti'Sos Kvvi v , II. 5, 845. Hesiod, Scut. 227). The dwarfs 
may have stood in some peculiar, though now obscured, relation 
to OSinn, as the hat-wearing pataeci, cabiri and Dioscuri did to 
Jupiter (see Suppl.). 

From such ability to conceal their form, and from their teazing 
character in general, there will arise all manner of deception and 
disappointment (conf. Suppl. to p. 331), to which man is exposed 
in dealing with elves and dwarfs. We read : der alp trivget 
(cheats), Fundgr. 327, 18; den triuget, weiz Got, nicht der alp, 
not even the elf can trick him, Diut. 2, 34; Silvester 5199; dio 
mag triegen wol der alp, Suchenwirt xxxi. 12; ein getroc daz 
mich in dem slafe triuget, Ben. 429 ; dich triegen die elbln (1. elln>, 
rhyme selbe), Altd. bl. 1, 261 ; elbe tricgent, Amgb. 2 b ; din elber 
triegent, Herbort 5 b ; in beduhte daz in triige ein alp, Ir. elfenm. 
lvii. ; alfs ghedroch, Elegast 51, 775. Reinh. 5367, conf. Horae 
Belg. 6, 218-9; alfsche droeh, Eeinaert (prose lxxii. a ). In our 

1 Fornm. sog. 2, 141 says of Eyvindr the sorcerer : ' gun-Si p-eim hulitkhialm,' 
made for them a mist, darkness, hul in hiahnr, Fornald. sog. 3, 219 ; hujUhSttr 1, 
9. 2, 20. See Rafn's Index sub v. dulgerfi. 

2 A weighty addition to the arguments for the identity of Wuotan and Mercury ; 
conf. p. 419 on the vrishing-rod. 


elder speech gitroc, getroc, dgetroc, abegetroc, denotes trickery 
especially diabolic, proceeding from evil spirits (Gramm. 2, 709. 
740-1). 1 To the same effect are some other disparaging epithets 
applied to elves : elbischez getwas, elbischez as, elbischez ungehiure, 
as the devil himself is called a getwas (fantasma) and a monster. 
So, of the morbid oppression felt in sleep and dreaming, it is 
said quite indifferently, either : ' the devil has shaken thee, ridden 
thee/ ' hinaht ritert dich satanas (Satan shakes thee to-night)/ 
Fundgr. 1, 170; or else the elf, the nightmare 2 : 'dich hat geriten 
der mar/ 'ein alp zonmet dich (bridles thee)/ And as Dame 
Holle entangles one's spinning or hair (p. 2G9), as she herself has 
tangled hair, 3 and as stubbly hair is called Hollenzopf ; 4 so the 
nightelf, the nightmare, rolls up the hair of men or the manes and 
tails of horses, in knots, or chews them through: alpzopf, druten- 
zopf, wichtelzopf, weichselzopf (of which more hereafter), in Lower 
Saxony mahrenlocke, elfklatte (Brem. wortb. 1, 302), Dan. mare- 
lok, Engl, elfloclcs (Nares sub v.), elvish knots, and in Shakspeare 
to elf means to mat: 'elf all my hair in knots/ K. Lear ii. 3. 
Here will come in those ' comae equorum diligenter tricatae,' 
when the white women make their midnight rounds (supra, p. 
287). The Lithuanian elf named aihvaras likewise mats the 
hair : aitwars yo plaukus suzindo, suwele (has drawn his hair to- 
gether). Lasicz 51 has : aitwaros, incubus qui post sepes habitat 
(from twora sepes, and ais pone). Some parts of Lower Saxony 
give to the wichtelzopf (plica polonica) the name of selkensteert, 
selkin's tail (Brem. wortb. 4, 749), sellentost (Hufeland's Journal 
11. 43), which I take to mean tuft of the goodfellow, homesprite 

1 Daz analutte des sih pergenten tmgetievcles, N. Bth. 44; gidrog pbantasma, 
0. iii. 8, 24; gedroq, Hel. 89, 22 ; tievels qetroc, Karl 62 a ; ' ne dragu ic enic drugi 
thing,' Hel. 8, 10. ' The dwarf Elberich (Ortn. 3, 27. 5, 105) is called ' ein trilge- 
■wiz ' ; conf. infra, bilwiz. 

2 Our nachtmar I cannot produce either in OHG. or MHG. Lye gives AS. 
' mcere fascce ' incubus, epbialtes, but I do not understand fascce. Nearly akin is 
the Pol. mora, Boh. mura, elf and evening butterfly, sphinx. In the Mark they say 
both alb and mahre, Adalb. Kuhn, p. 374. French cauchevwre, cochemar, also 
chaucheville, chauchi vieilli (Mem. des Antiq. 4. 399; J. J. Champollion Figeac 
patois, p. 125) ; Ital. pesaruole, Span, pesadilla, O. Fr. appesart; these from caucher 
(calcare), and pesar (to weigh down). 

3 In Kinderm. 3, 44, Holle gets her terrible hair combed out, which had not 
been combed for a year. A girl, whom she has gifted, combs pearls and precious 
stones out of her own hair. 

■* Hess. Hollezaul (for -zagel, tail), Hollezopp, Schmidt's Westerw. idiot. 341. 
Adelung has : ' Iwllenzopf, plica polonica, Pol. koltun, Boh. koltaun.' 


(gesellchen). 1 In Thuringia saelloclce, Prtetorius's Weltbesclir. 1, 
40. 293 (see Suppl.). 

The Edda nowhere represents either alfar or dvergar as mounted, 
whilst our poems of the Mid. Ages make both Elberich and Laurin 
come riding. Heinrich von Ofterdingen bestows on them a steed 
f als ein geiz (goat)/ and Ulrich's Alexander gives the dwarf 
king Antilois a pony the size of a roe, 2 while Altd. bl. 2, 151 
without more ado mounts the wihtel on a white roe. Antilois is 
richly dressed, bells tinkle on his bridle-reins ; he is angry with 
Alexander for spoiling his flower-garden, as Laurin is with Diet- 
rich and Wittich. The Welsh stories also in Crofton Croker 3, 
306 say : ' they were very diminutive persons riding four abreast, 
and mounted on small white horses no bigger than dogs ' (see 

All dwarfs and elves are thievish. Among Eddie names of 
dwarfs is an Aljriofr, Seem. 2 b ; Alpris, more correctly Alfrikr 
dvergr, in Vilk. saga cap. 16, 40. is called ' hinn mikli stelari' ; 
and in the Titurel 27, 288 (Halm 4105), a notorious thief, who 
can steal the eggs from under birds, is Elbegast (corrupted into 
Elegast, Algast). In our Low German legends they lay their 
plans especially against the pea-fields? Other thefts of dwarfs 

i Ogonczyk Zakrzewski, in his Hist, of plica polonica (Vienna, 1830), observes, 
that its cure also is accomplished with superstitious ceremonies. In Podlachia the 
elftult is solemnly cut off at Easter time and buried. In the Skawina district about 
Cracow, it is partially cropped with redbot shears, a piece of copper money tied 
up in it, and thrown into tbe ruins of an old castle in which evil spirits lodge ; 
but whoever does this must not look round, but hasten home as fast as he can. 
Superstitious formulas for the cure of plica are given by Zakrzewski, p. 20, out of 
an Old Boh. MS. of 1325. 

2 Wackeruagel's Basel MSS. p. 28. 

* Deut. sagen, nos 152, 155 ; to which I will here add two communicated by Ifr. 

Schambach. The first is from Jiibnde, near Gottingen : Yor nioh langer tid gai 

et to Jiine noch twarge. Diise plegten up et feld to gan, un den liien do arftea 
(leuten die crbsen) weg to stelen, wat se iim sau lichter konnen, da se nnsichtbar 
woren dor (durch) eue kappe, dei se uppeu koppe barren (hatten). Sau woren nu 
ok de twarge enen manne iimmer up sin grat arftenstiicke egan, un richteden one 
velen schaen darup an. Diit duerde sau lange, bet hei up den infal kam, de twarge 
to fengen. Hei tog alsau an hellen middage en sel (seil) rings iim dat feld. As nu 
de twarge unner den sel dorkrupen wollen, fellen onen de kappen af, se seiten nu 
alle in blaten koppen, un woren eichtbar. De twarge, dei sau efongen woren, 
geiwen one vele gaue wore, dat he dat sel wcgnomen mogde, un versproken ene 
mette (miethe) geld davor to gewen, hei solle mant vm- twmu nupgange weer (wieder) 
an diise Btee komen. En ander man segde one awer, hei mogde nioh gegen sun- 
nenupgang, sundern scbon iim tw5lwe hengan, denn da wore de dag ok schon 
anegan, Diit de" he, und richtig woren de twarge da met ener mette geld. Davon 
heiten de liie, dei dei mette geld ekregen barren, Mettens. Epitome :— Dwarfs ai 
Jiihnde preyed on the pea-fields ; wore caps ■which made them invisible. One man 
at high noon stretched a cord round his field. Dwarfs, creeping under it, brushed 


are collected in Elfenm. xcii. xciii., and their longing for children 
and blooming maids is treated of, p. civ. cv. Dwarf-kings run 
away with maidens to their mountains : Laurin with the fair 
Similt (Sindhilt ?), Goldemar or Volmar with a king's daughter 
(Deut. heldensag. 174, Haupt's Zeitschr. 6, 522-3); the Swed. 
folk-lay 'Den bergtagna' (-taken) tells of a virgin, who spends 
eight years with a mountain-king, and brings him seven sons and 
a daughter, before she sees her home again. 1 The following 

their caps off, became visible artel were caught ; promised him money, if he came 
there again before sunrise. A friend advised him to go as early as 12, for even 
then the day (of the dwarfs?) was begun. He did so, and got his meed.] 

The second story is from Dorste in Osterode bailiwick : En buere harre arften 

buten stan, dei woren one iimmer utefreten. Da word den bueren esegt, hei solle 
hengan un slaen met weenrauen (weidenruten) drupe riim, sau sleugde gewis einen 
de kappe af. Da geng he ok hen met sinnen ganzen liien, un funk ok enen twarg, 
dei sie (sagte) tau one, wenn he one wier las Ian (wieder los lassen) wolle, sau wolle 
one enn wagen vul geld gewen, hei moste awer vor sunnenupgange komen. Da leit 
ne de buere las, un de twarg sie one, wo sine bvile wore. Do ging de buere henn 
un frang enn, wunnir dat denn die sunne upginge? Dei sie tau one, dei ginge 
glocke twolwe up. Da spanne ok sinen wagen an, un tug hen. Asse (as he) vor 
de hiilen kam, do juchen se drinne un sungen : 

Dat ist gaut, dat de buerken dat nich weit, 
dat de sunne iim twolwe up geit ! 

Asse sek awer melle, wesden se one en afgefillet perd, dat solle mee (mit) nomen, 
wier (weiter) konnen se one nits gewen. Da was de buere argerlich, awer hei wolle 
doch fleisch vor sine hunne mee nomen, da haude en grat stiicke af, un laud et 
upen wagen. Asser mee na hus kam, da was alles schire gold. Da wollet andere 
noch nae langen, awer da was hiile un perd verswunnen. [Epitome : — A farmer, 
finding his peas eaten, was advised to beat all round with willow twigs, sure to 
knock a dwarf's cap off. Caught a dwarf, who promised a waggon full of money if 
he'd come to his cave before sunrise. Asked a man when sunrise was ? ' At 
twelve.' Went to the cave, heard shouting and singing : ' ' Tis well the poor 
peasant but little knows that twelve is the time when the sun up goes ! ' Is shown 
a skinned horse, he may take that ! Gets angry, yet cuts a great piece off for his 
dogs. When he got home, it was all sheer gold. Went for the rest ; cave and 
horse were gone.] 

The remarkable trysting-time before sunrise seems to be explained by the dwarf- 
kind's shyness of daylight, which appears even in the Edda, Sa?m. 51b ; they avoid 
the sun, they have in their caves a different light and different time from those of 
men. In Norse legends re-appears the trick of engaging a trold in conversation till 
the sun is risen : when he looks round and sees the sun, he splits in two ; Asbiornsen 
and Moe, p. 186. [The marchen of Kumpelstilzchen includes the dwarfs' song, 
' 'Tis well,' etc., the splitting in two, and the kidnapping presently to be men- 

1 But she-dwarfs also marry men ; Odman (Bahuslan, p. 78-9, conf. Afzelius 2, 

157) relates quite seriously, and specifying the people's names: Beors foraldrar i 

Hogen i Lurssockn, some bodde i Fuglekarr i Svarteborgssockn ; hvars farfar var 
en skott, ok bodde vid et berg, ther fick nan se mitt pa dagen sitjande en vacker 
piga pa en sten, ther med at ianga henne, kastade han stal emellan berget ok henne, 
hvarpa hennes far gasmade eller log in i berget, ok opnade bergets dorr, tilfragandes 
honom, om han vill ha bans dotter? Hvilket han med ja besvarade, ok efter lion 
var helt naken, tog han sina klader ok holgde ofver henne, ok lat cbristna henne. 
Vid aftradet sade hennes far til honom : ' nar tu skalt ha brollup, skalt tu laga til 
12 tunnor 61 ok baka en hop brod ok kiott efter 4 stutar, ok kiora til jordlwgen eller 
berget, ther jag haller til, ok nar brudskiinken skall utdelas, skall jag val ge min ' ; 


legend from Dorste near Osterode, it will be seen, transfers to 
dwarfs what the Kinderrmirchen No. 46 relates of a sorcerer : — 
Et was enmal en maken int holt nan arberen egan, da keirnen de 
twarge un neiment mee. Da se na orerhiilen keimen, da verleifde 
sek de eine twarg in se, un da solle se one ok frien, awer iest 
(erst) wollen de twarge de andern twarge taur hochtit bidden, 
underdes solle dat rnaken in huse alles reine maken un taur hochtit 
anreien. Awer dat niaken, dat wolle den twarg nich frien, da 
wollet weglopen, awer dat se't nich glik merken, tug et sin teug 
ut un tug dat ne strawisch an, un da sach et ne tunne vul hunig, 
da krup et rinder (hinein), un da sach et ok ne tunne vul feddern, 
un da krup et ok rinder, un da et wedder ruter karu, was et gans 
vul feddern, un da leip et weg un steig upn hoagen boam. Da 
keirnen de twarge derbunder (darunter) vorbi, un da se't seichen, 
meinen se, et wore en vugel, da reipen se't an un seen : 

' Wohen, woher du sckoiiue feddervugel ? ' 
' Ek kome ut der twarges hillc.' 
1 Wat maket de schoane junge brut ? ' 
'Dei steit metn bessen un keret dat hus.' 
' Juchhei ! sau wil wie ok hen/ 

Und da se hen keirnen, seen se taur brut ( guen niorgen/ an 
seen noch mehr dertau ; awer da se nich antwure, sleuchten se'r 
hinder de aren, un da fell se hen 1 (see Suppl.). 

hvilket ok skedde. Ty nar de andre gafvo, lyfte han up tacket ok kastade ensa star 
penningeposse ther igenom, at biinken sa nar gidt af, ok sade thervid : ' ther ar min 
ekiiuk ! ' ok sade ytterligare : ' nar tu skal ha tin hemmagifta, skaltu kiora med I 
hiistar hit til berget ok fa tin andel.' Ta han sedermera efter bans begiiran kom 
tit, fik han kopparkattlar, then ene storre an then andre, tils then yttersta storate 
kattelen blef upfyld med andra mindre ; item brandcreatur, som voro hielmeta, af 
hvilkeu f;irg ok creaturslag, som tiro stora ok frodiga, the an ha qvar pa rik, i 
Tanums gall beliiget. Thenne mannen Reors far i Foglekarsten beniimd, atiade en 
hop barn med thenna sin saledes fi-an berget afhiimtade hnstru, bland hvilka var 
namnemannen Reor pa Hogen ; so bar Ola Stenson i stora Rijk varit Reors syster- 
pou, hvilken i forledit ar med doden afgik. [Epitome : — Reor's fatbers dwelt, etc. 
One, an archer, lived near a hill, saw one day at noon v. fine <jirl sitting on u stone : 
to get her, he threic steel between her and the hill. Her father opened the door of 
the hill, asked him if he wanted his daughter. He answered yes, and as she was 
naked, threw some of his clothes over her ; had her christened. Father: 'At thy 
wedding bring ale, bread and horseflesh to my hill, and I will give thee a wedding 
gift.' This being done, he lifted their roof and threw in a great sum of money. 
' Now for house-furniture, come here with four horses.' The man did so, and re- 
ceived copper kettles of all sizes, one inside the other, etc., etc. By this wife, tlm< 
fetched from the hill, he had many children ; one was Reor, whose nephew 0. S. 
died only last year.] 

1 Translation : — Once a girl had gone into the wood after strawberries, when the 


They abstract well-shaped children from the cradle, and sub- 
stitute their own ugly ones, or even themselves. These sup- 
posititious creatures are called changelings, cambiones (App., 
Superst. E.) ; OHGr. wihselinga (N. Ps. 17, 46. Cant. Deuteron. 
5), our wechselbalge ; Swed. bytingar, Dan. bittinger; also our 
kielkropfe, dickkopfe from their thick necks and heads. (Stories 
about them in Thiele 1, 47. 3, 1. Faye p. 20. Ir. Elfenm. 
xli.-xlv. cv. Deut. sag. nos. 81-2, 87-90. ) l So early as in the 
poem 'Zeno' (Bruns p. 27 seq.) it is the devil that fills the 
place of a stolen child. The motive of the exchange seems to be, 
that elves are anxious to improve their breed by means of the 
human child, which they design to keep among them, and for 
which they give up one of their own. A safeguard against such 
substitution is, to place a key, or one of the father's clothes, or 

dwarfs came and carried her off. When they got to their cave, one dwarf fell in 
love with her, and she was to marry him ; but first the dwarfs were going to bid the 
other dwarfs to the wedding, in the meantime the girl was to make the house clean 
and prepare it for the wedding. But the girl, she did not want to marry the dwarf, 
so she would run away ; but that they might not notice it at once, she pulled her 
dress off and put it round a bundle of straw ; then she saw a tub full of honey and 
crept into it, and then she saw a tub full of feathers and crept into that also, and 
when she came out again, she was all over feathers ; then she ran away, and climbed 
up a high tree. Then the dwarfs came past under it, and when they saw her, they 
thought she was a bird, and called to her and said : 'Whither and whence, thou 

pretty feathered bird ? ' ' I come out of the dwarf's hole' 'What does the 

pretty young bride ? ' ' She stands with a besom and sweeps the house.' 

' Hurra ! then we'll go there too.' And when they got there, they said to the 

bride ' good morning,' and said other things too ; but as she never answered, they 
boxed her ears, and down she fell. 

Assuredly the dwarfs in this story are genuine and of old date. Besides, it can 
be supplemented from Kinderm. 3, 75, where the returning dwarfs are preceded by 
foxes and bears, who also go past and question the ' Fitcher's fowl.' There the 
tub of honey in the dwarf's house is a cask of blood, but both together agree wonder- 
fully with the vessels which the dwarfs Fialar and Galar keep filled with Kvasi's 
precious blood and with honey. Sn. 83. 84. 

1 Dresd. saml. no. 15, of the ' rnullers sun.' A foolish miller begs a girl to teach 
him the sweetness of love. She makes him lick honey all night, he empties a big 
jar, gets a stomach-ache, and fancies himself about to become a parent. She sends 
for a number of old women to assist him : ' da fragt er, war sein kind wer komen 
(what's come of the baby) ? sie sprachen : hastu nit vernommen ? ez was ain rehter 
wislonbalk (regular changeling), und tett als ein guoter schalk : da er erst von 
deinem leib kam (as soon as born), da fuer ez paid hin und entran hin uff zuo dem 
fiirst empor. Der miiller sprach : paid hin uff daz spor ! vachent ez (catch him) ! 

pringent ez mir herab ! ' They bring him a swallow in a covered pot. Again a 

Hessian folk-tale : A woman was cutting corn on the Dosenberg, and her infant lay 
beside her. A wiehtel-wife crept up, took the human child, and put her own in its 
place. When the woman looked for her darling babe, there was a frightful thick- 
head staring in her face. She screamed, and raised such a hue and cry, that at last 
the thief came back with the child ; but she would not give it up till the woman 
had put the wiclitelbalg to her breast, and nourished it for once with the generous 
milk of human kind. 


steel and needles in the cradle (App., Superst. Germ. 484. 744. 
Swed. 118). * 

One of the most striking instances of agreement that I know 
of anywhere occurs in connection with prescriptions for getting 
rid of your changeling. 

In Hesse, when the wichtelmann sees water boiled over the 
fire in eggshells, he cries out : ' Well, I am as old as the Wester- 
wold, but I never saw anything boiled in eggshells ; ' Km. no. 
39. In Denmark a pig stuffed with skin and hair is set before 
the changeling : ' Now, I have seen the wood in Tiso young three 
times over, but never the like of this ' : Thiele 1, 48. Before 
an Irish changeling they also boil eggshells, till he says : ' I've 
been in the world 1500 years, and never seen that'; Elfenm. p. 
38. Before a Scotch one the mother puts twenty-four eggshells 
on the hearth, and listens for what he will say ; he says : ' I was 
seven before I came to my nurse, I have lived four years since, 
and never did I see so many milkpans ; ' Scott's Mintrelsy 2, 
174. In the Breton folksong (Villemarque 1, 29) he sees the 
mother cooking for ten servantmen in one eggshell, and breaks 
out into the words : ' I have seen the egg hefore [it became] the 
white hen, and the acorn hefore the oak, seen it acorn and sapling 
and oak in Brezal wood, but never aught like this/ This story 
about the changeling is also applied to Dame Gauden's little dog, 
chap. XXXI. Villemarque 1, 32, quotes in addition a Welsh 
legend and a passage from Geoffrey of Monmouth, in which the 
Breton and Welsh formula for great age is already put into 
the mouth of Merlin the wild ; in each case an ancient forest is 
named. In all these stories the point was, by some out-of-the- 
way proceeding, to get the changeling himself to confess his age, 
and consequently the exchange. Such traditions must have 
been widely spread in Europe from the earliest times; and it was 
evidently assumed, that elves and korred had a very different 
term of life assigned them from that of the human race (see 

All elves have an irresistible fondness for music and dancing. 
By night you see them tread their round on the moonlit meadows, 

1 The Finns call a changeling luoti : monstrnm necnon infans matre dormiente 
a magis suppositus, quales putant esse infantern rachitide laborantem (Renvall). A 
Breton story of the korrigan changing a child is in Villein arque 1, 2a. 


and at dawn perceive their track in the dew : Dan. cdledands, 
Swed. alfdands, Engl, fairy rings, fairy green. The sight of 
mountain-spirits dancing on the meadows betokens to men a 
fruitful year (Deut. sag. no. 298). An Austrian folk-song in 
Schottky, p. 102, has : ' und duiirt drobn afm beargl, da danzn 
zwoa zweargl, de danzn so rar/ In Laurin's mountain, in 
Venus's mountain, there murmurs a gay seductive music, dances 
are trod in them (Laurin, 24) ; in the Ortnit (Ettm. 2, 17) there 
is 'ein smalez pfat getreten mit Jcleinen fiiezen/ a small path 
trod by little feet. Songs of elfins allure young men up the 
mountain, and all is over with them (Svenska fornsanger 2, 305. 
Danske viser 1, 235-240). 1 This performance is called eljfrus leh, 
elfvelek. The ordinary fornyrbalag 2 bears among Icelandic poets 
the name liiiflingslag (carmen genii), Olafsen p. 56 ; in Norway 
that kind of sweet music is called huldresldt (supra, p. 271). 
One unprinted poem in MHG. (Cod. pal. 341. 357 a ) contains 
the remarkable passage : ' there sat fiddlers, and all fiddled the 
albleich (elf-lay) ' ; and another (Altd. bl. 2, 93) speaks of 
' seiten spil und des wihtels schal' : it must have been a sweet 
enchanting strain, whose invention was ascribed to the elves. 3 
Finn Magnusen derives the name of the dwarf Haugspori (Sasni. 
2 b ) from the footmarks printed on grass by an elf roaming over 
the hills at night. And a song in Villemarque 1, 39 makes the 
dwarfs dance themselves out of breath (see Suppl.) . 

This fondness of elves for melody and dance links them with 
higher beings, notably with half-goddesses and goddesses. In 
the ship (of Isis) songs of joy resound in the night, and a dancing 
multitude circles round it (p. 258). In Dame Holda's dwelling, 
in Dame Venus's mountain, are the song and the dance. Celtic 
traditions picture the fays as dancing (Mem. de l'acad. celt. 5, 
108) ; these fays stand midway between elfins and wise women. 4 
The Hymn to Aphrodite 260 says of the mountain-nymphs : 

Bnpbv fxev ^coovgl fcai afxfiporov el8ap eSovai, 
Kal re jxer aOavdroicri ko\ov x°P ov ^ppaxravro. 

1 Folk-tale of the Hanebierg in the Antiqvariske Annaler 1, 331-2. 

2 Forn-yr'Sa-lag, ancient word-lay, the alliterative metre of narrative verse, in 
which the poems of the Elder Edda are written. — Trans. 

3 Conf. Ir. Elfenm. lxxxi.-lxxxiii., and the wihtel-show above, p. 441 note ; Eire 
sub v. alfiians ; Arndt's Journey to Sweden 3, 16. 

4 Like the Servian v'dy, who lioid their dance on mountain and mead, p. 4oC. 


(On deathless food they feed, and live full long, And whirl with 
gods through graceful dance and song.) No wonder our sage 
elves and dwarfs are equally credited with having the gift of 
divination. As such the dwarf Andvari appears in the Edda 
(Saem. 181 a ), and still more Alvts (all-wise) ; dwarf Eugel (L. 
Germ. Ogel) prophesies to Siegfried (Hiirn. Sifr. 46, 4. 162, 1), 
so does Grripir in the Edda, whose father's name is Eylimi; in 
the OFr. Tristran, the nains (nanus) Frocin is a devins (diviuator), 
he interprets the stars at the birth of children (11. 318-326. 632). 
When, in legends and fairy tales, dwarfs appear singly among 
men, they are sage counsellors and helpful, but also apt to fire up 
and take offence. Such is the character of Elberich and Oberon ; 
in a Swiss nursery- tale (no. 165), 'e chlis isigs mandle' (a little 
ice-grey mannikin), c e chlis mutzigs mandle' (stumpy m.), ap- 
pears in an Msige chliiidle ' (grey coat), and guides the course 
of events ; elves forewarn men of impending calamity or death 
(Ir. Elfenm. lxxxvi.). And in this point of view it is not without 
significance, that elves and dwarfs ply the spinning and weaving 
so much patronized by Dame Holda and Frikka. The flying gos- 
samer in autumn is in vulgar opinion the thread spun by elves and 
dwarfs; the Christians named it Marienfaden (-thread), Marien- 
sommer, because Mary too was imagined spinning and weaving. 
The Swed. dverg signifies araneus as well as nanus, and dvergs-ndt 
a cobweb. 1 The ON. saga of Samson hinn fagri mentions in cap. 
17 a marvellous f skickja, sem dlfkonurnar hofSu ofit' mantle that 
elfins had woven. On a hill inhabited by spirits you hear at 
night the elfin (which ' troldkone ' here must mean) spinning, 
and her wheel humming, says Thiele 3, 25. Melusina the fay is 
called alvinne in a Mid. Nethl. poem (Moneys Niederl. Volkslit. 

p. 75). On the other hand, the male dwarfs forge jewels and 

arms (supra, p.444-7, and in fuller detail in Ir. Elfenm. lxxxviii.). 3 

1 So the Breton horr is both dwarf and spider. 

2 Here is one more legend from Odmau's Bahuslan, p. 79 : Thessutan har 

man atskillige beriittelser ok sagor om smedar, sa i hiigar som biirg, sasom har i 
Fossumstorp hogar, hvarest man hordt, at the siuidt liksom i en annan smidja oro 
aftonen efter solenes nedergdng, ok eljest mitt pa hoga middagen. For 80 in- sedan 
p;ik Olas fadar i Surtuug, beniimd Ola Simunsson, har i forsamlingen Mn Slangevald 
bafvandes med sig en hund, hvilken ta ban blef varse mitt pa dagen bdrgsmannen, 
som ta smidde pd en star sten, skialde ban pa bonom, hvar pa bargsmeden, som hade 
on liusgrd rdk ok bldvulen hatt, begynte at snarka at bunden, som tillika med 1ms 
bonden funno rMeligast, at lemna bonom i fred. Tbet gifvas ok iinnu ibland 
gemene man sma crucifixer af metall, som gemenbgen balles fore vara i fordna 




To bring pig-iron to dwarfs, and find it the next morning outside 
the cave, ready worked for a slight remuneration, is a feature of 
very ancient date; the scholiast on Apollon. Rhod. (Argon. 4, 
761) illustrates the a/cftoves 'Hfyalaroio (anvils of H.) by a story 
of the volcanic isles about Sicily taken from Pytheas's Travels : 
to be iraXatov iXeyero tov j3ov\6ixevov apybv atBr/pov dirocpepetv 
/cat, £7Ti T7)v avpiov eXOovra \ap,{3dveiv rj £t</>o<? rj et rt aWo i]6eke 
KaraaKevdaai, KcnafiakovTa paadov (see Suppl.). 

What I have thus put together on the nature and attributes of 
elves in general, will be confirmed by an examination of particular 
elvish beings, who come forward under names of their own. 

Among these I will allot the first place to a genius, who is 
nowhere to be found in the Norse myths, and yet seems to be 
of ancient date. He is mentioned in several MHGr. poems : 

Sie wolten daz kein pilwiz 

si da schiizze durch diu knie. Wh. 324, 8. 

Er solde sin ein guoter 

und ein ip Hew is geheizen, 

davon ist daz in reizen 

die iibeln ungehiure. Riiediger von zwein gesellen (Cod. 

regimont.) 15 b . 
Da kom ich an bulweclisperg gangen, 
da schoz mich der bulweclis, 
da schoz mich die bulwechsin, 

da schoz mich als ir ingesind. Cod. vindob. 2817. 71 a . 
Von schrabaz pilwihten. Titur. 27, 299 (Halm 4116). 
Sein part het manchen pnlbiszoteu. Casp. von der Ron. 

heldenb. 156 b . 

Out of all these it is hard to pick out the true name. Wolfram 

tider smidde i btirg, hvilka the oforstandkre bruka at hanga pa boskap, som hastigt 
fadt oudt ute pi marken, eller som sages blifvit vaderslagne, hvarigeuom tro them 
bli helbregda. Af sadana bargsmiden bar jag ok nyligen kommit ofver ett, som 
aunu ar i forvar, ok pa. ofvanuamde satt gik i Ian at bota siukdommar. [Epitome : 

Many stories of smiths in the mountains, who worked as at any other smithy, 

after sunset or else at high noon. Eighty years ago Ola Simunsson was coming, 
etc. ; had with him a dog, which, on seeing a hill-man forging on a great stone, 
barked at him ; but the hill-smith, who wore a light-grey coat and blue woollen cap, 
snarled at the dog, etc. There are small metal crucifixes held to have been forged 
in the hills in former times, which simple folk still hang on cattle hurt in the field 
or weather-stricken, whereby they trow them to get healed. Of such hill-wrought 
things I have lately met with one, that used to be lent out to cure sicknesses.] 


makes pilwiz (var. pilbiz, bilwiz, bilwitz) rhyme with biz (inorsus), 
where the short vowel in the last syllable seems to point to 
pilwiht; the same with bilbis in another poem, which would have 
spelt it bilbeis if it had been long ; so that we cannot connect it 
with the OS. balowis, nor immediately with the bilwis and balwis 
contrasted on p. 374. The varying form is a sign that in the 
13-14th century the word was no longer understood; and later 
on, it gets further distorted, till bulwechs makes us think of a 
totally unconnected word balwahs (hebes). 1 A confession-book 
of the first half of the 15th century (Hoffmann's Monatschr. 753) 
has pelewysen synonymous with witches, and Colerus's Hausbuch 
(Mainz 1056), p. 403, uses bihlweisen in the same sense; several 
authorities for the form pUbis are given in Schm. 4, 188. We 
welcome the present Westph. Nethl. belewitten in the Teutonista, 
where Schuiren considers it equivalent to guecle holden and witte 
vrouwen (penates). Kilian has belewitte (lamia); and here come3 
in fitly a passage from Gisb. Vcetius de miraculis (Disput., torn. 
2, 1018): ' De illis quos nostrates appellant becldwit et blinde 
belien, a quibus nocturna visa videri atque ex iis arcana revelari 
putant.' Belwit then is penas, a kindly disposed home-sprite, 
a guote liable (supra, p. 206), what Riiediger calls ' ein guoter 
und ein pilewiz.' Peculiar to AS. is an adj. bilwit, b Hew it, 
Casdm. 53, 4. 279, 23, which is rendered mansuetus, simplex, but 
might more exactly mean aequus, Justus. God is called 'btlewit 
iseder ' (Andr. 1996), Boeth. metr. 20, 510. 538 ; and is also 
addressed as such in Cod. exon. 259, 6; again, ' bilwitra breoste ' 
(bonorum, aequorum pectus), Cod. exon. 343, 23. The spelling 
bilehwit (Beda 5, 2, 13, where it translates simplex) would lead 
to hwit (albus), but then what can bil mean ? I prefer the better 
authorized bilewit, taking 'wit' to mean scius, and bilwit, OHG. 
pilawiz, pilwiz ? to mean aequutn 2 sciens, aequus, bonus, although 

1 Fundgr. 1, 3-43, where palwasse rhymes with vahse, as MHG. often has 'wans 
for acutus, when it should be ' was,' OHG. huas, AS. hwass, ON. hvass ; thus the 
OHG. palohuas = badly sharp, i.e. blunt, ON. bolhvass? just as palotat = baleful 
deed. A later form biilwachs in Schm. 4, 15. 

2 The simple bil seems of itself to be aequitas, jus, and mythic enough (p. 37C). 
MHG. billieh (aequus), Diut. 3, 38. Fundgr. ii. 56, 27. 01, 23. 00, 19. Reinh. 
354. Iw. 1030. 5244. 5730. 0842. Ls. 2, 329. billichcn (jure), Nib. 150, 2. dtr 
biUich (aequitas), Trist. 0429. 9374. 10002. 13772. 18027. An OHG. billih I only 
know from W. lxv. 27, where the Leyden MS. has bilithlich. As the notions 
' aequus, aequalis, similis' lie next door to each other, piladi, bilidi (our bild) is 
really aequalitas, similitudo, the ON. likneski (imago). The Celtic bil also mi ana 
good, mild ; and Leo (Malb. Gl. 38) tries to explain bilwiz from bilbheith, bilbhitb. 


an adj. ' vit, wiz ' occurs nowhere else that I know of, the ON. 
vitr (gen. vitrs) being provided with a suffix -r. If this etymology 
is tenable, hilwiz is a good genius, but of elvish nature ; he haunts 
mountains, his shot is dreaded like that of the elf (p. 460), hair 
is tangled and matted by him as by the alp (p. 464). One 
passage cited by Schm. 4, ] 88, deserves particular notice : ' so 
man ain kind oder ain gewand opfert zu aim pilbispawm/ if one 
sacrifice a child or garment to a pilbis-tree, i.e. a tree supposed 
to be inhabited by the pilwiz, as trees do contain wood-sprites 
and elves. Bonier' s Legends of the Orlagau, p. 59. 62, name a 
witch Bilbze. The change of hilwiz, bilwis into bilwiht was a step 
easily taken, as in other words also s and h, or s and lit inter- 
change (lios, lioht, Gramm. 1, 138), also st and lit (forest, foreht, 
Gramm. 4, 416) ; and the more, as the compound bihuilit gave 
a not unsuitable meaning, 'good wight.-' The Grl. bias. 87 a offer 
a wihsilstein (penas), nay, the varying form of our present names 
for the plica (p. 464), weicliselzopf, wichselzopf, wichtelzopf (bieh- 
telzopf) makes the similar shading off of bilweichs, bilweclis, bil- 
wicht probable : I have no doubt there is even a bilweicliszopf, 
bilwizzopf to be found. 1 

Popular belief in the last few centuries, having lost the old and 
higher meaning of this spiritual being, has retained, as in the case 
of the alb, of Holla and Berhta, only the hateful side of its nature : 
a tormenting terrifying spectre, tangling your hair and beard, 
cutting up your corn, it appears mostly in a female form, as a 
sorceress and witch. Martin von Amberg's Mirror of Confession 
already interprets pilbis by devil, as Kilian does belewitte by 
lamia, strix. The tradition lingers chiefly in Eastern Germany, 

1 Another Polish name for plica, beside koltun, is wieszczyce (Linde 6, 227), and 
vulgar ojiinion ascribes it to the magic of a wieszczka wise woman, witch. This 
wieszczyce agrees with our weichsel-zo-pf, and also with the -tviz, -weis in bilwiz. 
If we conld point to a compound bialowieszczka (white witch, white fay ; but I 
nowhere find it, not even among other Slavs), there would arise a strong suspicion 
of the Slavic origin of our biliriz ; for the present its German character seems to 
me assured both by the absence of siich Slavic compound, and by the AS. bilwit 
and Nethl. belwitte : besides, our wiz comes from wizan, and the Pol. wieszcz from 
wiedzie6 [O.S1. vedeti, to wit] , and the kinship of the two words can be explained 
without any thought of borrowing. Of different origin seem to me the Sloven, 
paglawitz, dwarf, and the Lith. Pilvitus (Lasicz 54) or Pilwite (Narbutt 1, 52), god 
or goddess of wealth. [The Buss, veshch (shch pron. as in parish-church) has the 
same sound as wieszcz, but means thing, Goth, vaiht-s ; for kt, ht becomes shch, 
as in noshch, night. I am not sure therefore that even wieszczka may not be 
" little wiht." — Trans.] 


in Bavaria, Franconia, Vogtland and Silesia. H. Sachs uses 
bilbitzen of matting the hair in knots, pilmitz of tangled locks : 
' ir liar verbilbltzt, zapfet und stroblet, als ob sie hab der rab 
gezoblet/ i. 5, 309 b . ii. 2, 100 d ; ' pilmitzen, zoten und fasen/ iii. 
3, 12 a . In the Ackermann von Bohmen, cap. 6, pilwis means 
the same as witch; ' pielweiser, magician, soothsayer,' Bohme's 
Beitr. zum schles. recht 6, 69. 'an. 1529 (at Schweidnitz), a 
2>ielweiss buried alive/ Hoffmann's Monatschr. p. 247. ' 1582 
(at Sagan), two women of honest carriage rated for pilweissen 

and ,' ibid. 702. ' du pileweissin ! ' A. Gryphius, p. 828. 

' Las de deine bilbezzodn auskampln' says the angry mother to 
her child, f i den MlmezscJiedl get nix nei/ get your b. clots 
combed out, you don't come in in that shaggy scalp, Schm. 1, 
168. pilmesland, a curse like devil's child, Delling's Bair. idiot. 
1, 78. On the Saale in Thuriugia, bulmuz is said of unwashed 
or uncombed children ; while b lib ezscl mitt, bllwezschnltt, bilfez- 
schnitt, pilmasschnid (Jos. Rank. Bohmerwald, p. 274) denotes a 
cutting through a field of corn, which is regarded as the work 
of a spirit, a witch, or the devil. 

This last-mentioned belief is also one of long standing. 
Thus the Lex Bajuvar. 12 (13), 8: ' si quis messes alterius 
initiaverit maleficis artibus, et inventus fuerit, cum duodecim 
solidis componat, quod aranscarti 1 dicunt/ I dare say such a 
delinquent was then called a piliwiz, pilawiz ? On this passage 
Mederer remarks, p. 202-3 : An honest countryman told me 
about the so-called bilmerschnitt, bilberschnitt, as follows : ' The 
spiteful creature, that wants to do his neighbour a rascally mis- 
chief, goes at midnight, stark naked, with a sickle tied to his foot, 
and repeating magic spells, through the middle of a field of corn 
just ripe. From that part of the field that he has passed his 
sickle through, all the grains fly into his barn, into his bin.' 
Here everything is attributed to a charm practised by man. 2 

1 Goth, asans (messis), OHG. aran, am. 

" Can this magic be alluded to so early as in the Kaiserchronik (2130-37) ? 

din muoter heizit Eachel, 
diu hat in geleret : 
swenne sie in hiez sniden gtin, 
sin limit incom nle ddr an, 

sin sichil sneit schiere 

lin'i" dan andere viere ; 

wil er durch einin berc vara, 

der stot immer iner ingegen ira uf getan. 

(His mother R. taught him : when she bade him go cut, he never put his hand to 
it, his sickle soon cut more than any other four ; if he will drive through a hill, it 
opens before him.) 


Julius Schmidt too (Reichenfels, p. 119) reports from the Vogt- 
land : The belief in bilsen- or bilver-schnitter (-reapers) : is toler- 
ably extensive, nay, there seem to be certain persons who believe 
themselves to be such : in that case they go into the field before 
sunrise on St. John's day, sometimes on Walpurgis-day (May 1), 
and cut the stalks with small sickles tied to their great toes, step- 
ping slantwise across the field. Such persons must have small 
three-cornered hats on (bilsenschnitter-hiitchen) ; if during their 
walk they are saluted by any one, they must die that year. 
These bilsenschnitter believe they get half the produce of the 
field where they have reaped, and small sickle-shaped instru- 
ments have been found in some people's houses, after their death. 
If the owner of the field can pick up any stubble of the stalks 
so cut, and hangs it in the smoke, the bilsenschnitter will gra- 
dually waste away (see Suppl.). 

According to a communication from Thuringia, there are two 
ways of baffling the bilms- or binsenschneider (-cutter), 1 which- 
ever he is called. One is, ou Trinity Sunday or St. John's day, 
when the sun is highest in the sky, to go and sit on an elderbush 
with a looking-glass on your breast, and look round in every 
quarter, then no doubt you can detect the binsenschneider, but 
not without great risk, for if he spies you before you see him, 
you must die and the binsenschneider remain alive, unless he 
happen to catch sight of himself in the mirror on your breast, 
in which case he also loses his life that year. Another way is, 
to carry some ears that the binsenschneider has cut to a newly 
opened grave in silence, and not grasping the ears in your bare 
hand ; if the least word be spoken, or a drop of sweat from your 
hand get into the grave with the ears, then, as soon as the ears 
rot, he that threw them in is sure to die. 

What is here imputed to human sorcerers, is elsewhere laid 
to the devil (Superst. no. 523), or to elvish goblins, who may at 
once be known by their small hats. Sometimes they are known 
as bilgensclineider, as jpilver- or hilperts-schnitter, sometimes by 
altogether different names. Alberus puts sickles in the hands of 
women travelling in Hulda's host (supra, p. 269 note). In some 
places, ace. to Schm. 1, 151, they say bockschnitt, because the 

1 Bilse is henbane, and binse a rush, which plants have no business here. They 
are merely an adaptation of bilwiz, when this had become unintelligible. — Trans. 


goblin is supposed to ride through the cornfield on a he-goat, 
which may well remind us of Dietrich with the boar (p. 214). The 
people about Osnabriick believe the tremsemutter walks about in 
the corn : she is dreaded by the children. In Brunswick she is 
called kornwif : when children are looking for cornflowers, they 
will not venture too far into the green field, they tell each other 
of the cornwife that kidnaps little ones. In the Altmark and 
Mark Brandenburg they call her roggenmblime (aunt in the rye), 
and hush crying children with the words : ' hold your tongue, 
or roggenmbJtme with the long black teats will come and drag 
you away ! ' l Others say ' with her long iron teats/ which 
recals iron Berhta : others again name her rochenmor, because 
like Holla and Berhta, she plays all manner of tricks on idle 
maids who have not spun their distaffs clear during the Twelves. 
Babes whom she puts to her black breast are likely to die. Is 
not the Bavarian preinscheuhe the same kind of corn-spectre ? 
In the Schrackengast, Ingolst. 1598, there are coupled together 
on p. 73, 'preinscheuhen- und meerwunder/ and p. 89 'wilde 
larvenschopper und preinscheuhen.' This prein, brein, properly 
pap (puis), means also grain-bearing plants like oats, millet, 
panicum, plantago (Schm. 1, 256-7) ; and breinscheuhe (-scare) 
may be the spirit that is the bugbear of oat and millet fields ? 

In all this array of facts, there is no mistaking the affinity 
of these bilwisses with divine and elvish beings of our heathenism. 
They mat the hair like dame Holla, dame Berhta, and the alb, 
they wear the small hat and wield the shot of the elves, they 
have at last, like Holla and Berhta, sunk into a children's 
bugbear. Originally ' gute holden/ sociable and kindly beings, 
they have twisted round by degrees into uncanny fiendish goblins, 
wizards and witches. And more, at the back of these elvish 
beings there may lurk still higher divine beings. The Romans 
worshipped a Robigo, who could hinder blight in corn, and per- 
haps, if displeased, bring it on. The walking of the bilwiss, of 
the Boggenmuhme in the grain had at first a benevolent motive : 
as the names mutter, muhme, mbr teach us, she is a motherly 

1 Conf. Dent, sagen, no. 89. Kuhn, p. 373. Temmc's Sagen, p. 80. 82, of the 
Altmark. The Baden legend makes of it a rockert-weibeU and an enoh 
countess of Eberstein, who walks about iu a wood named liockert (Mono's Anzeiger, 
3, H5). 


guardian goddess of spindle and seedfield. Fro upon his boar 
must have ridden through the plaius, and made them productive, 
nay, even the picture of Siegfried riding through the corn I 
incline to refer to the circuit made by a god ; and now for the 
first time I think I understand why the Wetterau peasant to this 
day, when the corn-ears wave in the wind, says the boar walks in 
the corn. It is said of the god who causes the crops to thrive. 
Thus, by our study of elves, with whom the people have kept up 
acquaintance longer, we are led up to gods that once were. The 
connexion of elves with Holla and Berhta is further remarkable, 
because all these beings, unknown to the religion of the Edda, 
reveal an independent development or application of the heathen 
faith in continental Germany (see Suppl.). 1 

What comes nearest the hairy shaggy elves, or bilwisses, is a 
spirit named scrat or scrato in OHG. documents, and pilosus in 
contemporary Latin ones. The Gl. mons. 333 have scratun 
(pilosi) ; the Gl. herrad. 200 b waltschrate (satyrus) ; the Sumerlat. 
10, 66 srate (lares mali) ; so in MHG. scraz • Reinh. 597 (of the 
old fragment), 'em wilder waltschrat;' Barl. 251, 11. Aw. 3, 
226. Ulr. Lanz. 437 has 'von dem schraze ' = dwarf ; 'sie ist 
villihte ein schrat, ein geist von helle ; ' Albr. Titur. 1, 190 
(Hahn 180). That a small elvish spirit was meant, is plain 
from the dimin. schretel, used synonymously with wihtel in that 
pretty fable, from which our Irish elf-tales gave an extract, but 
which has since been printed entire in Mone's treatise on heroic 
legend, and is now capped by the original Norwegian story in 
Asbiornsen and Moe, No. 26 (one of the most striking examples 

1 The Slavs too have a field-spirit who paces through the corn. Boxhorn's Resp. 
Moscov., pars 1, p. ... : " Daemonem quoque meridianum Moscovitae metuunt et 
colunt. Ille enim, dum jam maturae resecantur fruges, habitu viduae lugentis ruri 
obambulat, operariisque uni vel pluribus, nisi protinus viso spectro in terram proni 
concidant, brachia frangit et crura. Neque tamen contra banc plagarn remedio 
destituuntur. Habent enim in vicina silva arbores religione patrum cultas : harum 
cortice vulneri superimposito, ilium non tantum sanant, sed et dolorem loripedi 
eximunt." Among the Wends tbis corn-wife is named lyshipolnitza [prop, prepoln., 
from polno, full, i.e. full noon] , at the hour of noon she creeps about as a veiled 
rooman. If a Wend, conversing with her by the hour on flax and flax-dressing, can 
manage to contradict everything she says, or keep saying tbe Lord's prayer back- 
wards without stumbling, he is safe (Lausitz. monatsschr. 1797, p. 7-44). The Bohe- 
mians call her baba (old woman), or polednice, poludnice (meridiana), the Poles 
dziewatma, dziewice (maiden), of whom we shall have to speak more than once, conf. 
chap. XXXVI. Here also there are plainly gods mixed up with the spirits and 

SCKAT. 479 

of the tough persistence of such materials in popular tradition) ; 
both the schretel and the word wazzerbern answer perfectly to 
the trold and the hvidbiorn. Vintler thiuks of the schrdttlin as a 
spirit light as wind, and of the size of a child. The Vocab. of 
1482 has schretlin (penates) ; Dasypodius nachtschrettele (ephi- 
altes) ; later ones spell it sckrdttele, schrattel, schrettele, sckrotle, 
conf. Staid. 2, 350. Schmid's Schwab, wortb. 478. In the Sette 
comm. schrata or schretele is a butterfly, Schm. 3, 519. A 
Thidericus Scratman is named in a voucher of 1244 ; Spilcker 2, 
84. A district in Lower Hesse is called the Scltratwe<j, Wochenbl. 
1833,952. 984. 1023. And other Teutonic dialects seem to 
know the word : AS. scritta, Eng. scrat (hermaphroditus), 1 ON. 
skratti (malus genius, gigas) ; a rock on the sea is called 
skrattasker (geniorum scopulus), Fornm. sog. 2, 142. Compar- 
ing these forms with the OHG. ones above, we miss the usual 
consonant-change : the truth is, other OHG. forms do shew a 
z in place of the t: scraz, Gl. fuld. 14; screza (larvae, lares nutli), 
Gl. lindenbr. 996 b ; ' srezze vel strate ' (not: screzzol scraito), 
Sumerlat. 10, 66; f unreiner sclirdz,' Altd. w. 3, 170 (rhymes 
vraz). 2 And Upper Germ, dictionaries of the lGth cent, couple 
schretzel with alp; HOfer 3, 114, has ' der schretz,' and Schm. 
3, 552, 'der schretzel, das schrefzlein.' According to Mich. 
Beham 8. 9 (Mone's Anz. 4, 450-1), every house has its scltrez- 
lebi ; if fostered, he brings you goods and honour, he rides or 
drives the cattle, prepares his table on Brecht-night, etc. 3 

The agreement of Slavic words is of weight. O. Boh. scret 
(daemon), Hanka's Zbirka 6 b ; screti, screttl (penates intimi et 
secretales), ibid. 16 b ; Boh. skret, skrjteJc (penas, idolumj ; Pol. 
shrzot, skrzitek ; Sloven, zhltrdt, zhkrdtiz, zhkrdlclj (hill-mannikin). 
To the Serv. and Russ. dialects the word seems unknown. 

I can find no satisfactory root for the German form. 1 In Slavic 

1 Already in Sachsensp. 1, 4 altvile and dverge side by side ; conf. KA. 410. 

2 A contraction of schrawaz ? Gudr. 448, schrawaz und merwunder ; Albr. Titur. 
27, 299 has schrabaz together with pilwiht; schrawatzen und merwunder, Gasp, von 
der lion's Wolfdietericn 195. Wolfd. und Sauen 496. [' Probably of different 
origin,' says Suppl.] 

3 Mucbar, Komisches Noricum 2, 37, and Gastcin 147, mentions a capricious 
mountain-spirit, sehranel. 

4 Tbe ON. skratti is said to mean terror also. The Swed. skratta, Dan. skratte, 
is to laugh loud. Does the AS. form scritta allow us to compare the Gr. a-Kipros, 
a hopping, leaping goblin or satyr (from ffKiprdco, I bound) ? Lobeck's Aglaoph., 


skryti (celare, occulere) is worth considering. [A compound of 
kryti, to cover, root kry, krov, Kpv-mw. If Slav, skry, why not 
AS. scriid, shroud ?] . 

Going by the sense, schrat appears to be a wild, rough, shaggy 
wood-sprite, very like the Lat. faun and the Gr. satyr, also the 
Roman silvanus (Livy 2, 7) ; its dimin. schratlein, synonymous 
with wichtel and alp, a home-sprite, a hill-mannikin. But the 
male sex alone is mentioned, never the female ; like the fauns, 
therefore, they lack the beauty of contrast which is presented by 
the elfins and bilwissins. We may indeed, on the strength of 
some similarity, take as a set-off to these schrats those wild women 
and wood-minnes treated of at the end of chapter XVI. The 
Greek fiction included mountain-nymphs (vvficfxit, bpeaKcpoi) and 
dryads (8pvd8e<;, Euglished wuducelfenne in AS. glosses), whose 
life was closely bound up with that of a tree (loc. princ, Hymn 
to Aphrodite 257-272 ; and see Suppl.). 

Another thing in which the schrats differ from elves is, that 
they appear one at a time, and do not form a people. 

The Fichtelberg is haunted by a wood-sprite named the Katzen- 
veit, with whom they frighten children : ' Hush, the Katzenveit 
will come ! ' Similar beings, full of dwarf and goblin-like 
humours, we may recognise in the Gilbich of the Harz, in the 
Biibezal of Eiesengebirge. This last, however, seems to be of 
Slav origin, Boh. Rybecal, Bybrcol. 1 In Moravia runs the story 
of the seehirt, sea-herd, a mischief-loving sprite, who, in the shape 
of a herdsman, whip in hand, entices travellers into a bog (see 
Suppl.). 3 

The gloss in Hanka 7 b . ll a has ' vilcodlac faunus, vilcodlaci 
faunificarii, incubi, dusii ' ; in New Boh. it would be wlkodlak, 
wolf-haired; the Serv. vuTiodlac is vampire (Vuk sub v.). It is 
not surprising, and it offers a new point of contact between elves, 
bilwisses, and schrats, that in Poland the. same matting of hair is 
ascribed to the shrzot, and is called by his name, as the shfjteh is 
in Bohemia ; 3 in some parts of Germany schrotleinzopf . 

1 In Slav, ryba is fish, but cal, or col (I think) has no meaning. The oldest 
Germ. docs, have Eube-zagil, -zagel, -zagl (-tail) ; Rube may be short for the 
ghostly ' knecht Ruprecht,' or Robert. Is Rubezagel our bobtail, of which I have 
seen no decent etymology? — Trans. 

2 Sagen aus der vorzeit Mahrens (Brunn, 1817). pp. 136-171. 

3 The plica is also called koltun, and again koltki are Polish and Russian home- 


People iu Europe began very early to think of daemonic beings 
as pilosi. The Vulgate has ' et pilosi saltabunt ibi/ Isaiah 13, 
21, where the LXX. had Saifxovia e/cet opyj]<jovTai, couf. 
34, 14. l Isidore's Etym. 8, cap. ult. (and from it Gl. Jun. 
399) : 'pilosi qui graece panitae, latine incubi nominantur, — 
hos daemones Galli dusios nuncupant. 2 Quem autem vulgo 
incubonem vocant, hunc Rornani faunum dicunt.' Burcard of 
Worms (App. Superst. C) is speaking of the superstitious custom 
of putting playthings, shoes, bows and arrows, in cellar or 
barn for the home-sprites, 3 and these genii again are called 
' satyri vel pilosi.' The monk of St. Gall, in the Life of Charles 
the Great (Pertz 2,741), tells of a pilosus who visited the house 
of a smith, amused himself at night with hammer and anvil, 
and filled the empty bottle out of a rich man's cellar (conf. Ir. 
elfenm. cxi. cxii.). Evidently a frolicking, dancing, whimsical 
homesprite, rough and hairy to look at, ' eislich getan/ as the 
Heidelberg fable says, and rigged out in the red little cap of a 
dwarf, loving to follow his bent in kitchens and cellars. A figure 
quite in the foreground in Cod. palat. 324 seems to be his very 

Only I conceive that in earlier times a statelier, larger figure 
■was allowed to the schral, or wood-schrat, then afterwards the 
merrier, smaller one to the schrettel. This seems to follow from 
the ON. meaning of slcratti gigas, giant. These woodsprites must 
have been, as late as the G-7th cent., objects of a special worship : 
there were trees and temples dedicated to them. Quotations in 
proof have already been given, pp. 58. 68: ' arbores daemoni 
dedicatae/ and among the Warasken, a race akin to the Bavarian, 
' agrestium fana, quos vulgus /«*mo.s vocat.' 

Some remarkable statements are found in Eckehart's W alt- 
harius. Eckevrid of Saxony accosts him with the bitter taunt 

1 Lntlier translates feldteufel ; the Heb. sagnir denotes a shaggy, goat-like 
being. Radevicus frising. 2, 1:5, imitates the whole passage in the prophel : ' alulae, 
upupae, bubones toto anno in ectis funebria personautes lugubri voce aures om- 
nium repleverunt. Pilosi quos satijros vocant in domibus plerunque auditi.' Again 
2, 24 : ' in aedibus tuis lugubri voce respondeaut alulae, saltent pilosis 

2 ' Daemones quos duscios Galli nuncupant.' Augustine, Civ. Dei, c. 23. The 
name duz still lives in Bretagne, dimin. duzik (Yillemarque 1, 42). 

J In the same way the jiidel (I suppose giii /. /. the same as guote holde) has 
toys placed for him, Superst. I, no. G2 ; conf. infra, the homesprites. 


Die, ait, an corpus vegetet ti'actabile teinet, 
sive per aerias fallas, maledide, figuras ? 
saltibus assuetus f annus mihi quippe videris. 

Walthari replies in mockery (765) : 

Celtica lingua probat te ex ilia gente creatum, 
cui natura dedit reliquas ludendo praeire; 
at si te propius venientem dextera nostra 
attingat, post Saxonibus memorare valebis, 
te nunc in Vosago fauni fantasma videre. 

If you come within reach of my arm, I give you leave then 
to tell y,our Saxon countrymen of the ' schrat ' you now see in 
the Wasgau (Vosges). When Eckevrid has hurled his spear at 
him in vain, Walthari cries : 

Haec tibi silvanus transponit munera faunus. 

Herewith the ' wood-schrat ' returns you the favour. 1 

Here the faun is called fantasma, phantom ; OHG. giscin, T. 
81 (Matt. xiv. 26), otherwise scinleih (monstrum), Gl. hrab. 9G9 b . 
Jun. 214; AS. scinlac (portentuin) ; or gltroc, p. 464. Phan- 
tasma vagabundum (Vita Lebuini, Pertz 2, 361) ; 'fantasma vult 
nos pessundare ' (Hroswitha in Dulcicius) ; 'fantasia quod in 
libris geniiMxxm. faiuius solet appellari/ Mabillon, Analect. 3, 352. 
A ' municipium/ or ' oppidum mons fauni,' in Ivonis Carnot. 
epist. 172, and conf. the doc. quoted in the note thereon, in 
which it is monsfaunum. Similarly in OFr. poems : ' fantosme 
nous va faunoiant' Meon 4, 138; fantosme qui me desvoie, 
demaine/ ibid. 4, 140. 4. 402. A passage from Girart de 
Rossillon given in Mone's Archiv 1835. 210 says of a moun- 
tain : ' en ce mont ha moult de grans secrez, trop y a de fantomes.' 
Such are the fauni ficarii and silvestres homines, with whom 
Jornandes makes his Gothic aliorunes keep company (p. 404). 
Yet they also dip into the province of demigod heroes. Miming 
silvarum satyrus, and Witugouwo (silvicola) seem to be at once 
cunning smith-schrats and heroes (pp. 376-379). A valkyr unites 
herself with satyr-like Volundr, as the aliorunes did with fauns. 
The wild women, wood-minne (pp. 432-4), and the wilde man 

i The dialogue is obscure, and in the printed edition, p. 86, I have endeavoured 
to justify the above interpretation. 


(Wigamur 203) come together. \Vigal. 6286 has wlldez wip, and 
6602 it is said of the dwarf Karri 6 z : 

Sia muoter was ein wildez wip His mother was a wild woman, 

da von was sin knrzer lip therefrom was his short body 

aller ruck unde stark, all over hairy and strong, 

sin gebein was ane mark his bones without marrow 


nach dem geslehte der muoter sin, after his mother's stock, 

deste sterker muoser sin. the stronger must he be. 

In the Wolfdietrich a wild man like this is called waltluoder, and 
in Laurin 173. 183 waltmann. The ON. mythology knows of 
wild wood-wives by the names ivicfjur, Sasm. 88 a . 119 b , &a&iarn- 
vidjnr, Sn. 13. About the ividja we find at the beginning of the 
Hrafnagaldr the obscure statement ' elr ivroja/ alit, auget, parit, 
gignit dryas ; ividja is derived from a wood or grove ivi&r, of 
which the Voluspa l a makes mention: f nio man ek heima, nio 
iviffi' ; so iarnvicfja from iarnvi&r, iron wood (see Suppl.). 1 

I cannot properly explain these ON. ivrSjur and iarnviojur. 
The popular belief of to-day in South-eastern Germany presents 
in a more intelligible shape the legend of the wild-folk, forest-folk, 
wood-folk, moss-folk, who are regarded as a people of the dwar 
kind residing together, though they come up singly too, and in 
that case the females especially approximate those higher beings 
spoken of on p. 432. They are small of stature, but somewhat 
larger than elves, grey and oldish-looking, hairy and clothed in 
moss : ' ouch waren ime diu uren als eime walttdren vennieset,' 
his ears like a forest-fool's bemossed (?), Iw. 440. Often holz- 
weibel alone are mentioned, seldomer the males, who are supposed 
to be not so good-natured and to live deeper in the woods, wear- 
ing green garments faced with red, and black three-cornered hats. 
H. Sachs 1, 407 a brings up holzmanner and holzfrauen, and gives 
1, 348 c the lament of the ivild woodfolh over the faithless world. 
Schmidt's lleichenfels, pp. 140-8 tells us the Voigtland tradition, 
and Burner, pp. 188-242 that of the Orlagau; from them I borrow 
what is characteristic. The little wood-wives come up to wood- 
cutters, and beg for something to eat, or take it themselves out 

1 Afzelius 2, 145-7, mentions Swed. VHfjershar, leaf-maids, forest-maids, and 

compares them with Laufey (p. 246), but the people have httle to say about them. 


of their pots ; but whatever they have taken or borrowed they 
make good in some other way, not seldom by good advice. At 
times they help people in their kitchen work and at washing, 
but always express a great fear of the wild huntsman that pursues 
them. On the Saale they tell you of a bush-grandmother and her 
moss-maidens ; this sounds like a queen of elves, if not like the 
'weird lady of the woods' (p. 407). The little wood-wives are 
glad to come when people are baking, and ask them, while they 
are about it, to bake them a loaf too, as big as half a millstone, 
and it must be left for them at a specified place ; they pay it back 
afterwards, or perhaps bring some of their own baking, and lay 
it in the furrow for the ploughmen, or on the plough, being 
mightily offended if you refuse it. At other times the wood-wife 
makes her appearance with a broken little wheelbarrow, and begs 
you to mend the wheel ; then, like Berhta she pays you with the 
fallen chips, which turn into gold; or if you are knitting, she 
gives you a ball of thread which you will never have done un- 
winding. Every time a man twists (driebt, throws) the stem of 
a young tree till the bark flies off, a wood- wife has to die. When 
a peasant woman, out of pity, gave the breast to a crying wood- 
child, the mother came up and made her a present of the bark in 
which the child was cradled ; the woman broke a splinter off and 
threw it in to her load of wood, but when she got home she found 
it was of gold (see Suppl). 

Wood-wives, like dwarfs, are by no means satisfied with the 
ways of the modern world ; but to the reasons given on p. 459 
they add special ones of their own. There's never been a good 
time since people took to counting the dumplings they put in the 
pot, the loaves they put in the oven, to ' pipping ' their bread 
and putting caraway-seeds in it. Hence their maxim : 

Schiil keinen baum, No tree ever shell, 

erzahl keinen traum, no dream ever tell, 

back keinen kiimmel ins brot, bake in thy bread no cummin- 
so hilft dir Gott aus aller noth. and God will help in all thy 


The third line may be 'pip kein brod/ don't pip a loaf. A 


wood-wife, after tasting some newly-baked bread, ran off to the 
forest, screaming loud : 

Sie liaben mir gebacken kiimmelbrot, 
das bringt diesem hause grosse noth ! 

(They've baked me caraway-bread, it will bring that house great 
trouble). And the farmer's prosperity soon declined, till he was 
utterly impoverished. To ' pip ' a loaf is to push the tip of your 
finger into it, a common practice in most places. Probably the 
wood-wives could not carry off a pricked loaf, and therefore 
disliked the mark ; for a like reason they objected to counting. 
Whether the seasoning with, cummin disgusted them as an inno- 
vation merely, or in some other connection, I do not know. The 
rhyme runs thus : ' kiimmelbrot, unser tod ! ' the death of us ; 

or — ' kiimmelbrot macht angst und noth.' Some wood-manni- 

kins, who had long done good service at a mill, were scared away 
by the miller's men leaving out clothes and shoes for them, Jul. 
Schmidt, p. 146 (see Suppl.). 1 It is as though, by accepting 

i This agrees wonderfully with what Reusch, pp. 53-5, reports from Prussian 

Samland : A householder at Lapohnen, to whom the subterraneans had done 

many services, was grieved at their having such poor clothes, and asked his wife to 
put some new little coats where they would find them. Well, they took their new 
outfit, but their leave at the same time, crying, ' paid up, paid up ! ' Another time 
they had been helping a poor smith, had come every night and turned out a set of 
little pots, pans, plates and kettles as bright as could be ; the mistress would set a 
dish of milk for them, which they fell upon like wolves, and cleared to the last drop, 
washed up the plates and then set to work. The smith having soon become a rich 
man, his wife sewed them each a pretty little red coat and cap, and left them lying. 
' Paid up, paid up ! ' cried the undergrounders, then quickly slipt into their new 
finery, and were off, without touching the iron left for them to work at, or ever 

coming back. Another story of the Seewen-weiher (-pond), near Eippoldsau, in 

the Black Forest (Mone's Anz. 6, 175) : — A lake-maunikin liked coming to tlio 
folks at Seewen farm, would do jobs there all day, and not return into his lake till 
evening; they used to serve him up breakfast and dinner by himself. If in giving 
out tasks they omitted the phrase ' none too much and none too little,' he turned 
cross, and threw all into confusion. Though his clothes were old and shabby, he 
never would let the Seewen farmer get him new ones ; but when this after all was 
done, and the new coat handed to the lake-mannikin, one evening, he said, ' When 
one is paid off one must go ; beginning from to-morrow, I come to you no more ;' 

and in spite of all the farmer's apologies he was never seen again. Jos. Bank's 

Bohmerwald, p. 217, tells a pretty story of a wasehweiberl (wee washerwife), for whom 
the people of the house wanted to have shoes made, but she would not hold out her 
little foot to be measured. They sprinkled the floor with flour, and took the 
measure by her footprints. When the shoes were made and placed on the bench 
for her, she fell a-sobbing, turned her little smock-sleeves down agaiu, unlooped 
the skirt of her frock, then burst away, lamenting loudly, and was seen no more.' 
That is to say, the wee wife, on coming into the house, had turned up the sleeyi a 
of her smock, and looped up her frock, that she might the more easily do any kind 
of work. Similar tales are told of the brownie, It. Chambers, p. 33. And the same 
idea lies at the bottom of the first story about wiehtelruannerchen in Kinderm. 39. 


clothes, the spirits were afraid of suddenly breaking off the 
relation that subsisted between themselves and mankind. We 
shall see presently that the home-sprites proper acted on different 
principles, and even bargained for clothes. 

The more these wood-folk live a good many together, the more 
do they resemble elves, wichtels, and dwarfs ; the more they 
appear singly, the nearer do the females stand to wise women and 
even goddesses, the males to gigantic fauns and wood-monsters, 
as we saw in Katzenveit, Giibich and Rubezahl (p. 480). The 
salvage man with uprooted fir-tree in his hand, such as supports 
the arms of several princes in Lower Germany, represents this 
kind of faun ; it would be worth finding out at what date he is 
first mentioned. Grinkenschmied in the mountain (Deut. sag. 1, 
232) is also called e der wilde man.' 

In the Romance fairy-tales an old Roman god has assumed 
altogether the nature of a wood-sprite ; out of Orcus l has been 
made an Ital. orco, Neapol. hnorco, Fr. ogre (supra, p. 314) : he 
is pictured black, hairy, bristly, but of great stature rather than 
small, almost gigantic; children losing their way in the wood 
come upon his dwelling, and he sometimes shews himself good- 
natured and bestows gifts, oftener his wife (orca, ogresse) pro- 
tects and saves. 3 German fairy-tales hand over his part to the 
devil, who springs even more directly from the ancient god of 
the lower world. Of the invisible-making helmet the orco has 
nothing left him, on the other hand a dsemonic acuteness of 
scent is made a characteristic feature, he can tell like a sea- 
monster the approach of human flesh : ' je sens la chair fraiche/ 
'ich rieche, rieche menschenfieisch/ 'ich wittere, wittere 
menschenfieisch/ f i schmoke ne Crist/ 'I smell the blood/ 
' jeg lugter det paa min hoire haand (right hand)/ 'her lugter 
saa kristen mands been/ 3 exactly as the meerminne already in 

It is a common characteristic, that holds good of wichtels, of suhterraneans, of lake- 
sprites and of wood-folk, but chiefly of male ones who do service to mankind. 
[Might the objection to shewing their feet arise from their being web-footed, like 
the Swiss ha'rdmandle, especially in the case of water-sprites?] 

1 See App., Superst. A, ' Orcum invocare' together with Neptune and Diana ; 
Superst. G, extr. fromVintler, 1. 83 : ' er hab den orken gesechen.' Beow. 224 has 
orcneas, pi. of orcne. 

2 Pentamerone, for the orco 1, 1. 1,5. 2,3. 3,10. 4,8. For the orca 2, 1. 
2, 7. 4, 6. 5, 4. 

3 Perrault's Petit poucet ; Kinderm. 1, 152. 179. 2, 350. 3, 410; Musams 1, 
21 ; Danske viser 1, 220 ; Norske folkeeventyr, p. 35. 


Morolt 3924 says : ' ich smacke diutsche iserngewant/ coats 
of mail (see Suppl.). The Ital. however has also an uom foresto, 
Pulci's Morgante 5, 38. 

The Gothic neut. slwhsl, by which Ulphilas renders SaifMovtov, 
Matth. 8, 31. Lu. 8, 27 (only in margin; text reads unhul]>6). 
1 Cor. 10, 20. 21, I am disposed to explain by supposing a sMhs, 
gen. skohis, or rather skogs (the h being merely the g softened 
before si). It would answer to the ON. skogr (silva) ; in all our 
Gothic fragments the word for forest never occurs, so that in 
addition to a vidus (p. 376) we may very well conjecture a skogs. 
In Sweden the provincialisms skogsnerte, sJwgsnufva l are still 
used ; suerte appears to contain snert gracilis, and snufva to 
mean anh elans. 2 Now if skohsl is wood-sprite, 3 there may have 
been associated with it, as with Satfxovcov, the idea of a higher 
being:, semi-divine or even divine. When we call to mind the 
sacred, inviolable trees inhabited by spirits (chap. XXI, and 
Snperst. Swed. no. 110, Dan. no. 162), and the forest- worsliip of 
the Germani in general (pp. 54-58. 97-8) ; we can understand 
why wood-sprites in particular should be invested with a human 
or divine rather than elvish nature. 

Water-sprites exhibit the same double aspect. Wise-women, 
valkyrs, appear on the wave as swans, they merge into prophetic 
merwomen and merminnes (p. 434). Even Nerthns and dame 
Holla bathe in lake or pool, and the way to Holla's abode is 
through the well, Kinderm. 24. 79. 

Hence to the general term holde or guoter hohle (genius, bonus 
genius) is added a wazzerholde (p. 266), a brunnenJwlde (p. 268) ; 
to the more general minni a meriminni and marmenniU (p. 433). 
Other names, which explain themselves, are: MHG. wildiu 

1 Linnaeus' s Gothlandske resa, p. 312. Faye, p. 42. 

2 In 1298 TorkelKnutson founded on the Neva a stronghold against the Russians, 
called Landskrona. An old folk-tale says, there was heard in the forest near the 
rivi i a continual knocking, as of a stone-cutter. At last a peasant took courage and 
penetrated into the forest ; there he found a wood-sprite hewing at a stone, who, on 
being asked what that should mean, answered : ' this stone shall be the boundary 
between the lands of the Swedes and Moskovites.' Forsell's Statistik von Schwe- 
den, p. 1. 

3 To make up anOHG. skuoh and skuohisal is doubtless yet more of a venture. 
Our tcheuaal (monstrum), if it comes from scheuen (sciuhan), to shy at, has quite 
another fundamental vowel ; it may however be a corruption. The only very old 
form I know is the schusel given in the foot-note on p. 269. But the Vocab. of 1482 
has scheuhe (larva). 



merkint, wildiu merwunder, Gudrun 1 09, 4. 112,3. wildez merwij), 
Osw. 653. 673 ; Mod. HG. meerwunder, wassermann (Slav. 
vodnik), seejungfer, nieerweib ; ON. Iiaf-fru, ces-kona, hafgygr, mar- 
gijgr ; Dan. havmand, brondmand (man of the burn or spring), 
Molb. Dial. p. 58 ; Swed. liafsman, hafsfru, and more particularly 
stromkarl (river sprite or man). Wendish vodny muz, water man. 
The notion of a water-king shews itself in water conink, Melis 
Stoke 2, 96. Certain elves or dwarfs are represented as water- 
sprites : Andvari, son of Oin, in the shape of a pike inhabited 
a fors, Ssem. 180-1 ; and Alfrikr, ace. to Vilk. saga, cap. 34, 
haunted a river (see Suppl.). 

The peculiar name of such a watersprite in OHG. was nihhus, 
nichus, gen. nichuses, and by this term the glossists render croco- 
dilus, Gl. mons. 332, 412. Jun. 270. Wirceb. 978 b ; the Physio- 
logus makes it neuter : daz nihhus, Diut. 3, 25. Hoffm. Fundgr. 
23. Later it becomes niches, Gl. Jun. 270. In AS. I find, with 
change of s into r, a masc. nicor, pi. niceras, Beow. 838. 1144. 
2854, by which are meant monstrous spirits living in the sea, 
conf. nicorhus, Beow. 2822. This AS. form agrees with the M. 
Nethl. nicker, pi. nickers, (Horae Belg. p. 119); Reinaert prose 
MIIIIP has ' nickers ende wichteren'; necker (Neptunus), Diut. 
2, 224 b . 'heft mi die necker bracht hier ? ' (has the devil brought 
me here ?), Mone's Ndrl. volkslit. p. 140. The Mod. Nethl. 
nikker means evil spirit, devil, f alle nikkers uit de hel ; ' so the 
Engl. ' old Nick.' We have retained the form with s, and the 
original sense of a watersprite, a male nix and a female nixe, i.e., 
niks and nikse, though we also hear of a nickel and nickelmann. 
In MHG. Conrad uses wassernixe in the sense of siren : ' heiz uns 
leiten uz dem bade der vertanen (accursed) wasseruixen, daz uns 
ir gedcene (din) iht schade ' (MS. 2, 200 1 '). 1 

The ON. nikr (gen. niks ?) is now thought to mean hippo- 
potamus only ; the Swed. ndk, nek, and the Dan. nok, nok, nocke, 
aanycke (Molb. Dial. p. 4) express exactly our watersprite, but 
always a male one. The Danish form comes nearest to a Mid. 
Lat. nocca, spectrum marinum in stagnis et fluviis ; the Finn. 

1 Grypliius (mihi 743) has a rhyme : ' die wasserliiss auf erden mag nicht 
so schone werdeu,' apparently meaning a water-wife or nixe. In Ziska's Ostr. 
volksm. 54 a kind ivassemix, like dame Holla, bestows wishing-gifts on the 



nakki, Esth. nek (watersprite) seera borrowed from the Swedish. 
Some have brought into this connexion the much older neha 
nehalennia (pp. 257, 419), I think without good reason: the 
Latin organ had no occasion to put h for c, and where it does 
have an h in German words (as Vahalis, Naharvali), we have no 
business to suppose a tenuis ; besides, the images of Nehalennia 
hardly indicate a river-goddess. 

I think we have better reason for recognising the water-sprite 
in a name of OSinn, who was occasionally conceived of as Nep- 
tune (p. 148), and often appears as a sailor and ferryman in his 
bark. The AS. Andreas describes in detail, how God Himself, in 
the shape of a divine shipman escorts one over the sea ; in the 
Legenda Aurea it is only an angel. OSinn, occording to Sn. 3, is 
called Nikarr or Hnikarr, and Nikuz or Enikudr. In Seem. 46 a > b 
we read Hnikarr, Hnikuffr, and in 91 a 184 a > b Hnikarr again. 
Nikarr would correspond to AS. Nieor, and Nikuz to OHG. 
Nichus. Snorri's optional forms are remarkable, he must have 
drawn them from sources which knew of both; the prefixing 
of an aspirate may have been merely to humour the metre. Finn 
Magnusen, p. 438, acutely remarks, that wherever OSinn is called 
Hnikarr, he does appear as a sea-sprite and calms the waves. 
For the rest, no nickar (like alfar and dvergar) are spoken of in 
either Edda. Of the metamorphoses of the nickur (hippop.) the 
ON. uses the expression " nykrat e'Sa finngalkat," Sn. 317 (see 

Plants and stones are named after the nix, as well as after 
gods. The nyinphasa {vv^aia from vvfxjin) we still call ni,f- 
blume as well as seeblume, seelilie, Swed. nackblad, Dan. nbk- 
kibhnnster, nokkerose ; the conferva rupestris, Dan. nokkeskag 
(nix-beard) ; the haliotis, a shellfish, Swed. ndckora (nix-ear) ; 
the crumby tufa-stone, tophus, Swed. ndckebrod, the water- 
sprite's bread. Finn, ndkinkenka (mya margaritifera) ndkin 
waltikka (typha angustifolia) ; the Lausitz Wends call the blos- 
soms or seedpods of certain reeds c vodneho mvzha porsty, 
potaczky [piorsty, perczatky ?], lohszy/ water-man's fingers or 
gloves. We ourselves call the water-lily ivassenndnnlein, but 
also mummel, milmmeh-hen, = miiemel, aunty, water-aunt, as the 
merminne in the old lay is expressly addressed as Morolt's 
'liebe muome/ and in Westphalia to this day ivatermome is a 


ghostly being; in Nib. 1479, 3 Siglint the one merwoinan says 
of Hadburc the other : 

Durch der waste liebe hat min muome dir gelogen, 

'tis through love of raiment (weeds) mine aunt hath lied to thee; 
these merwomen belong, as swan-maidens, to one sisterhood and 
kindred (p. 428), and in Oswald 673-9 f ein ander merwip ' is 
coupled with the first. Several lakes inhabited by nixes are 
called mummelsee (Deut. sag. nos. 59. 331. Mone's Anz. 3, 92), 
otherwise meumke-loch, e.g., in the Paschenburg of Schaumburg. 
This explains the name of a little river Milmling in the Oden- 
wald, though old docs, spell it Mimling. Mersprites are made to 
favour particular pools and streams, e.g., the Saale, the Danube, 
the Elbe, 1 as the Romans believed in the bearded river-gods 
of individual rivers; it may be that the name of the Neckar 
(Nicarus) is immediately connected with our nicor, nechar (see 

Biorn gives nennir as another ON. name for hippopotamus, 
it seems related to the name of the goddess Nanna (p. 310). 2 
This nennir or nikur presents himself on the sea-shore as a hand- 
some dapple-grey horse, and is to be recognised by his hoofs 
looking the wrong way ; if any one mounts him, he plunges with 
his prey into the deep. There is a way however to catch and 
bridle him, and break him in for a time to work. 3 A clever man 
at Morland in Balms fastened an artfully contrived bridle on him, 
so that he could not get away, and ploughed all his land with 
him; but the bridle somehow coming loose, the 'neck' darted 
like fire into the lake, and drew the harrow in after him. 4 In 
the same way German legends tell of a great hulking black horse, 
that had risen out of the sea, being put to the plough, and going 
ahead at a mighty pace, till he dragged both plough and plough- 
man over the cliff. 5 Out of a marsh called the ' taufe/ near 

1 The Elbjungfer and Saalweiblein, Deut. sag. no. 60 ; the river-sprite in the 
Oder, ibid. no. 62. 

2 Muchar, in Norikum 2, 37, and in Gastein p. 145, mentions an Alpine 
sprite Donanadel ; does nadel here stand for nandel ? A misprint for madel (girl) 
is scarcely conceivable. 

3 Landnamabok, 2, 10 (Islend. sog. 1, 74). Olafsen's Eeise igiennem Island, 
1, 55. Sv. vis. 3, 128. 

4 P. Kalm's Westgota och Bahuslandska resa, 1742, p. 200. 

5 Letzner's Dasselsche chronik 5, 13. 


Scheuen in Lower Saxony, a wild bull comes up at certain times, 
and goes with the cows of the herd (Harry's Sagen, p. 79). 
When a thunderstorm is brewing, a great horse with enormous 
hoofs will appear on the water (Faye, p. 55). It is the vulgar 
belief in Norway, that whenever people at sea go down, a 
soedrouen (sea sprite) shews himself in the shape of a headless 
old man (Sommerfelt, Saltdalens priistegjeld, Trondhjem 1827, p. 
119). In the Highlands of Scotland a water-sprite in the shape 
of a horse is known by the name of water-kelpie (see Suppl.). 

Water-sprites have many things in common with mountain- 
sprites, but also some peculiar to themselves. The males, like 
those of the schrat kind, come up singly rather than in companies. 
The water man is commonly represented as oldish and with a 
long beard, like the Roman demigod out of whose urn the river 
spouts; often he is many-headed (conf. p. 387), Faye p. 51. In 
a Danish folk-song the nokke lifts his beard aloft (conf. Svenska 
visor 3, 127. 133), he wears a green hat, and when he grins you 
see his green teeth (Deut. sag. no. 52). He has at times the 
figure of a wild bog with shaggy hair, or else with yellow curls 
and a red cap on his head. 1 The niikki of the Finns is said to 
have iron teeth. 2 The nixe (fem.), like the Romance fay and our 
own wise-women, is to be seen sitting in the sun, combing her 
long hair (Svenska vis. 3, 148), or emerging from the waves with 
the upper half of her body, which is exceedingly beautiful. The 
lower part, as with sirens, is said to consist of a fish-like tail ; 
but this feature is not essential, aud most likely not truly 
Teutonic, for we never hear of a tailed nix, 3 and even the nixe, 
when she comes on shore among men, is shaped and attired like 
the daughters of men, being recognised only by the wet skirt of 

1 The small size is implied in the popular rhyme : ' Nix in der grube (pit), du 
bist eiu boser bube (bad boy) ; wasch dir deine beinchen (little legs) mit rothen 
ziegelsteinchen (red brick).' 

2 On the grass by the shore a girl is seized by a pretty boy wearing a handsome 
peasant's belt, aud is forced to scratch his head for him. While she is doing so, he 
slips a girdle round her unperceived, and chains her to himself ; the continued 
friction, however, sends him to sleep. In the meantime a woman comes up, and 
asks the girl what she is about. She tells her, and, while talking, releases herself 
from the girdle. The boy was more sound asleep than ever, and his lips stood 
pretty wide apart ; then the woman, coming up closer, cried out : ' why, that's a 
neck, look at his fish's teeth ! ' In a moment the neck was gone (Etwas iiber die 
Ehsten, p. 51). 

3 But we do of nixes shaped like men above and like horses below ; one water- 
sprite takes his name from his slit ears, Deut. sag. no. 63. 


her dress, the wet tips of her apron. 1 Here is another point of 
contact with swan -maidens, whose swan-foot betrays them : and 
as they have their veils and clothes taken from them, the nixe 
too is embarrassed by the removal and detention of her gloves 
in dancing (Deut. sag. nos. 58. 60). Among the Wends the 
water-man appears in a linen smockfrock with the bottom of its 
shirt wet ; if in buying up grain he pays more than the market 
price, a dearth follows, and if he buys cheaper than others, prices 
fall (Lausitz. monatschr. 1797, p. 750). The Russians name 
their water-nymphs rusdlki: fair maidens with green or gar- 
landed hair, combing themselves on the meadow by the waterside, 
and bathing in lake or river. They are seen chiefly on Whit- 
sunday and in Whitsun-week, when the people with dance and 
song plait garlands in their honour and throw them into the 
water. The custom is connected with the German river-worship 
on St. John's day. Whitsun-week itself was called by the 
Russians rusaldnaya, in Boh. rusadla, and even in Wallachian 
rusalie. 2 

Dancing, song and music are the delight of all water-sprites, as 
they are of elves (p. 470). Like the sirens, the nixe by her 
song draws listening youth to herself, and then into the deep. 
So Hylas was drawn into the water by the nymphs (Apollod. 
i. 9, 19. Apollon. rhod. 1, 131). At evening up come the dam- 
sels from the lake, to take part in the human dance, and to visit 
their lovers. 3 In Sweden they tell of the stromkarVs alluring 
enchanting strain : the strornkarls-lag (-lay) is said to have 
eleven variations, but to only ten of them may you dance, 
the eleventh belongs to the night-spirit and his band; begin 

1 In Olaf the Saint's saga (Fornm. sog. 4, 56. 5, 162) a mar gygr is pictured as a 
beautiful woman, from the girdle downward ending in a fish, lulling men to sleep 
with her sweet song ; evidently modelled on the Roman siren. Pretty stories of 
nixes are told in Jul. Schmidt's Reichenfels, p. 150 (where the word docken = dolls, 
puppets) and 151. Water-wives when in labour send for human assistance, like 
she-dwarfs (p. 457). ' They spake at Dr. M. L.'s table of spectra and of changelings, 
then did Mistress Luther, his goodwife, tell an history, how a midwife at a place 
was fetched away by the devil to one in childbed, with whom the devil had to do, 
and that lived in a hole in the water in the Mulda, and the water hurt her not at 
all, but in the hole she sat as in a fair chamber.' Table-talk 1571. 440b. 

2 Schafarik in the Casopis cesk. mus. 7, 259 his furnished a full dissertation on 
the rusalky [from rusy, blond ; but there is also ruslo, river's bed, deepest part] . 

3 Hebel doubtless founds on popular tradition when (p. 281) he makes the 
' jungfere usem see ' roam through the fields at midnight, probably like the roggen- 
muhme to make them fruitful. Other stories of the meerweiblein in Mone's Anz. 8, 
178, and Bechstein's Thiir. sagen 3, 236. 

NICHUS, NIX. 493> 

to play that, and tables and benches, cup and can, gray-beards- 
and grandmothers, blind and lame, even babes in the cradle 
would be«-in to dance. 1 This melodious stromkarl loves to linger 
by mills and waterfalls (conf. Andvari, p. 488). Hence his 
Norwegian name fossegrim (fos, Swed. and ON. fors, waterfall). 
On p. 52 it was cited as a remnant of heathen sacrifices, that to 
this demonic being people offered a black lamb, and were taught 
music by him in return. The fossegrim too on calm dark 
evenings entices men by his music, and instructs in the fiddle 
or other stringed instrument any one who will on a Thursday 
evening, with his head turned away, offer him a little white he-goat 
and throw it into a ' forse ' that falls northwards (supra, p. 34) . 
If the victim is lean, the pupil gets no farther than the tuning of 
the fiddle ; if fat, the fossegrim clutches hold of the player's right 
hand, and guides it up and down till the blood starts out of all 
his finger-tips, then the pupil is perfect in his art, and can play 
so that the trees shall dance and torrents in their fall stand still 
(see Suppl.). 2 

Although Christianity forbids such offerings, and pronounces 
the old water-sprites diabolic beings, yet the common people 
retain a certain awe and reverence, and have not quite given up 
all faith in their power and influence : accursed beings they 
are, but they may some day become partakers of salvation. This 
is the drift of the touching account, how the stromkarl or neck 
wants you not only to sacrifice to him in return for musical 
instruction, but to promise him resurrection and redemption. 3. 
Two boys were playing by the riverside, the neck sat there 
touching his harp, and the children cried to him : f What do you 
sit and play here for, neck ? you know you will never be saved/ 
The neck began to weep bitterly, threw his harp away, and sank 
to the bottom. When the boys got home, they told their father 

1 Arndt's Eeise nach Schweden 4, 241 ; similar dances spoken of in Herrauds- 
saga, cap. 11. pp. 49 — 52. 

2 Faye p. 57. Conf. Thiele 1, 135 on the kirkegrim. 

3 Odman's Babusliin, p. 80 : Om spelemiin i hogar ok forsar liar man ok 
atskilliga sagor ; for 15 ar tilbacka bar man bar uti hdgen under Giiren i Tanums 
gall belagit hort spela som the baste musicanter. Then som har viol ok vill Era 
spela, blir i ognableket lard, allenast ban lofvar vpstdndelse ; en som ej lofte thet, 
tick bora bum the i hogen slogo sonder sina violcr ok greto bitterliga. (He that has 
a fiddle and will learn to play, becomes in a moment learned, only he promises 
resurrection ; one who promised not that, did hear how they in the hill beat 
asunder their fiddles and wept bitterly.) 


what had happened. The father, who was a priest, said f you 
have sinned against the neck, go back, comfort him and tell him 
he may be saved/ When they returned to the river, the neck 
sat on the bank weeping and wailing. The children said : ' Do 
not cry so, poor neck, father says that your Redeemer liveth too/ 
Then the neck joyfully took his harp, and played charmingly till 
long after sunset. 1 I do not know that anywhere in our legends 
it is so pointedly expressed, how badly the heathen stand in need 
of the Christian religion, and how mildly it ought to meet 
them. But the harsh and the compassionate epithets bestowed 
on the nixes seem to turn chiefly upon their unblessedness, their 
damnation. 2 

But beside the freewill offering for instruction in his art, the 
nix also exacted cruel and compulsory sacrifices, of which the 
memory is preserved in nearly all popular tradition. To this day, 
when people are drowned in a river, it is common to say : ' the 
river-sprite demands his yearly victim/ which is usually 'an 
innocent child.' 3 This points to actual human sacrifices offered 
to the nichus in far-off heathen times. To the nix of the Diemel 
they throw bread and fruit once a year (see Suppl.). 

On the whole there runs through the stories of water-sprites a 
vein of cruelty and bloodthirstiness, which is not easily found among 
daamons of mountains, woods and homes. The nix not only kills 
human beings who fall into his clutches, but wreaks a bloody 
vengeance on his own folk who have come on shore, mingled 
with men, and then gone back. A girl had passed fifteen years 
in the sea- wife's house (i haf-fruns gard), and never seen the sun 
all that time. At last her brother ventures down, and brings 
his beloved sister safely back to the upper world. The hafstru 
waited her return seven years, then seized her staff, and lashing 
the water till it splashed up high, she cried : 

1 Sv. visor 3, 128. Ir. Elfenm. p. 24; similar Irish, Scotch, and Danish tra- 
ditions, pp. 200-2. Conf. Thiele 4, 14. Holberg's Julestue sc. 12 : ' Nisser og 
underjorske folk, drive store fester bort med klagen og hylen, eftersom de ingen del 
har derudi ' (because they have no part therein). 

2 ' Vertane wassernixe,' fordone, done for (p. 488) ; ' den fula stygga necken,' 
Sv. vis. 3, 147 ; ' den usle havfrue, usle marernind,' ' den arme niareviv,' ' du fide 
og lede spaaqvinde ! ' Danske visor 1, 110. 119. 125. Holberg's Melampus 3, 7 
cites a Danish superstition : ' naar en tisker ligger hos sin fiskerinde paa soen, 
saa foder hun en havfrue.' 

3 Deut. sag., nos. 61. 62. Faye, p. 51. The Kiver Saale yearly demands her 
victim on Walburgis or St. John's day, and on those days people avoid the river. 


Hade jag trott att du varit sa falsk, 

Sa skulle jag kuackt dig din tiufvekals ! 

(bad I trowed thou wert so false, I'd have nicked thy thievish 
neck), Arvidsson 2, 320-3. If the sea-maidens have stayed too 
long at the dance, if the captive Christian have born a child to 
the nix, if the water-man's child is slow in obeying his call, one 
sees a, jet of blood shoot up from the water's bed in sign of the 
vengeful deed. 1 As a rule, there was likewise a favourable sign 

1 Deut. sag., nos. 49. 58-9. 60. 304-6. 318, 1. Here I give another Westphalian 

legend, written down for me by Hr Seitz, of Osnabriick : Donken von den smelt 

upjm Darmssen. Dicbte bei Brauruske liggt en liitken see, de Darmssen ; do stond 
vorr aulen tien (olden tide) en klauster ane. de nhonke aber in den klauster liabeden 
nig na Goddes willen ; drumrne gonk et unner. Nig lange na hiar horden de buren 
in der nauberskup, in Epe, olle nacbte en kloppen un liarmen bi den Darmssen, osse 
wenn me upn ambold slet, und wecke Kie seigen wott (some folk saw somewhat) 
midden up den Darmssen. Se sgeppeden drup to ; da was et n smett, de bet ant lif 
(bis an's leib) inn ivater seit, mitn hamer in de fust, d&mit weis he jiimmer up den 
ambold, un bedudde (bedeutete) de buren, dat se em wot to smien bringen sollen. 
Sit der tit brochten em de liie ut der burskup jiimmer isen to smien (iron to forge), 
un ninminske badde so goe plogisen (good ploughshares) osse de Eper. Ens wol 
Koatman to Epe ret (reed) ut den Darmssen halen, do feind he n liitk kind annen 
bwer, dat was ruw upn ganssen liwe* Do sgreggede de smett: 'nimmmi meinen 
suennen nig weg ! ' aber Koatman neim dat kind inn back full, un lop dermit na 
huse. Sit der tit was de smett nig mehr to sehn or to boren. Koatman farde 
(futterte) den ruwwen up, un de word sin beste un flitigste knecht. Osse he aber 
twintig jar ault wor, sia he to sinen buren : ' bur, ik mot von ju gaun, min vdr het 
mi ropen.' ' Dat spit mi je,' sia de bur, ' gift et derm gar nin middel, dat du bi mi 
bliwen kannst ? ' 'Ik will es (mal) sehn,' sia dat waterkind, ' gat erst es (mal) no 
Braumske un halt mi en niggen djangen (degn) ; mer ji injot do forr giebn wot de 
kaujjmann hebben will, un jau niks afhanneln.' De bur gonk no Braumske un 
kofde en djangn, hannelde aber doch wot af. Nu gongen se to haupe no'n Darmssen, 
do sia de ruwwe : 'Nu passt upp, wenn ik int water slae un et kiimmt blot, dann 
mot ik weg, kiimmt wjalke, dann darf ik bi ju bliwwen.' He slog int water, da 
kwanmi kene mjalke un auk ken blod. gans iargerlik sprak de ruwwe : ' jihebt mi 
wot wis maket, un wot afhannelt, doriimme kommt ken blod un kene mjalke. spot 
ju, un kaupet in Braumske en annern djangn.' De bur gong weg un kweiin wir ; 
aber erst dat driidde mal brachte he en djangen, wa he niks an awwehannelt hadde. 
Osse de ruwwe da mit int water slog, do was et so raut osse blod, de ruwwe stortede 

sik in den Darmssen, un ninminske hef en wier sehn. [Epitome : — The smith in 

Darmssen lake. Once a monastery there; bad monks, put down. Peasants at Epe 
heard a hammering every night, rowed to middle of lake, found a smith sitting 
up to Ids waist in water; he made them signs to bring him work, they did so 
constantly, and the Epe ploughshares were the best in the country. Once farmer 
Koatman found a child on the bank, all over hairy. Smith cried, 'don't take my 
son ' ; but K. did, and reared him. Smith never seen again. The Shaggy one, when 
aged 20, said, 'I must go, father has called me.'— ' Can't you stay anyhow?'— 
' Well, I'll see ; go buy me a new sword, give the price asked, don't beat down.' K. 
bought one, but cheapened. They go to the Darmssen ; says Shag, ' Watch, when 
I strike the water ; if blood comes, I mustgo, if milk, I may stay.' But neither came: 
' You've cheapened ! go buy another sword.' K. cheapened again, but the third time 
he did not. Shag struck the water, it was red as blood, and be plunged into the 
Darmssen.] The same sign, of milk or blood coming up, occurs in another folk- 
tale, which makes the water-nymphs into white-veiled nuns, Mone'a Anz. 3, 93. 

* So in Casp. von der Bon, pp. 224-5 the meerwunder is called 'der rauhe, der 
rauc/tt'.' Conf. supra, pp. 481. 491. 


agreed upon (a jet of milk, a plate with an apple) , but withheld 
in such a case as this. 

And here is the place to take up Grendel again, whom we 
likened (p. 243) to the malicious god Loki, though Loki, even 
apai't from that, seemed related to Oegir. Grendel is cruel and 
bloodthirsty : when he climbs out of his marsh at night, and 
reaches the hall of the sleeping heroes, he clutches one and drinks 
the blood out of another (Beow. 1478). His mother is called a 
merewif (8037), brimwylf (she-wolf of the breakers, 3197), and 
grundwyrgen (3036) which means the same thing (from wearg, 
lupus, comes wyrgen, lupa). This pair, Grendel and mother, have 
a water-house, which is described (3027 seq.) almost exactly as 
we should imagine the Norse Oegir's dwelling, where the gods 
were feasted : indoors the water is excluded by walls, and there 
burns a pale light (3033). 1 Thus more than one feature leads on 
to higher beings, transcending mere watersprites (see Suppl.). 

The notion of the nix drawing to him those who are drowning 
has its milder aspect too, and that still a heathen one. We saw 
on p. 311 that drowned men go to the goddess Ban; the popular 
belief of later times is that they are received into the abode of the 
nix or nixe. It is not the river-sprite kills those who sink in the 
element of water ; kindly and compassionately he bears them to 
his dwelling, and harbours their souls. 2 The word ran seems to 
have had a more comprehensive meaning at first : ' mgela rein ok 
regin ' was to invoke all that is bad, all evil spirits, upon one. It 
has occurred to me, whether the unexplained Swed. rd in the 
compounds sjora (nix), skogsrd (schrat), tomtva (homesprite), which 
some believe to be ra, angulus, or a contraction of radande, may 
not have sprung from this ran, as the Scandinavian tongue is so 
fond of dropping a final n. Dame Wdcldlt too (p. 434) is a 
succouring harbouring water-wife. The water man, like Hel and 
Ran, keeps with him the souls of them that have perished in the 
water, ' in pots turned upside down/ to use the naive language of 
one story (no. 52) ; but a peasant visiting him tilts them up, and 
in a moment the souls all mount up through the water. Of the 

i Conf. the dolphin's house in Musiius's marchen of the Three Sisters. 

2 Probably there were stories also of helpful succouring river-gods, such as the 
Greeks and Romans told of Thetis, of Ino-Leucothea (Od. 5, 333-353), Albunea, 


drowned they say f the nix has drawn them to him/ or 'has sucked 
them/ because bodies found in the water have the nose red. 1 
' Juxta pontem Mosellae quidam puerulus naviculam excidens 
submersus est. quod videns quidam juvenis vestibus abjectis aquae 
insilivit, et inventum extrahere volens, maligno spiritu retrahente, 
quern Neptunum vocant, semel et secundo perdidit; tertio cum 
nomen apostoli invocasset, mortuum recepit.' Miracula S. Mat- 
thiae, cap. 43. Pez, Thes. anecd. 2, 3, pag. 26. Rollenhagen in 
the Froschmeuseler (Nn IP) : 

' das er 
elend im wasser wer gestorben, 
da die seel mit dem leib verdorben, 
oder beim geist blieb, der immer frech 
den ersofnen die Jiels abbrech.' 

(that he had died miserably in the water, and his soul had per- 
ished with the body, or abode with the spirit that ever without 
ado breaketh the necks of the drowned). The Swedish supersti- 
tion supposes that drowned men whose bodies are not found have 
been drawn into the dwelling of the lutfsfru (Sv. vis. 3, 148). 
In some German fairy-tales (no. 79) children who fall into the 
well come under the power of the water-nixe ; like dame Holla, 
she gives them tangled flax to spin. 

Faye. p. 51, quotes a Norwegian charm, to be repeated on the 
water against the nix : 

vyh, nyTc, naal i vatn ! 

jomfru Maria kastet staal i vatn : 

du siik, iik flyt. 3 

(nick, nick, needle in water ! Virgin casteth steel in water. 
Thou sink, and I flee). A similar one for bathers is given in 
Superst. Swed. no. 71 [with the addition : ' thy father was a 
steel-thief, thy mother was a needle-thief/ etc.] . Steel stops a 
spirit's power to act upon you (supra, p. 466-7 n.). 

A sepulchral cry of the nix, similar to death groans, is said to 
portend drowning (Faye, p. 51). Some very old writings ascribe 

1 Dan. ' nokken bar taget ham,' ' nokken har suet dem,' Tullin's Skrifter 2, 13. 
- So Brynhildr calls out at last to the giantess : 'seykstu, gvgjar kyu ! ' Sam. 


to watersprites in general wailing voices and doleful speeches, that 
resound from lakes and pools : they tell each other of their 
baffled schemes, or how they have to vacate the land before the 
christians. Gregory of Tours, in De glor. confess, cap. 31, re- 
members an incident of his young days ' apud Arvernos gestum/ 
A man setting out early to the forest has his morning meal 
blessed before he takes it : Cumque ad amnem adhuc ante- 
lucanum venisset, imposito plaustro cum bobus in ponte qui 
super navem locatus erat, alterum transmeare coepit in littus. 
Verum ubi in medium amnis devenit, audivit vocem dicentis 
' merge, merge, ne moreris !' Cui respondens vox alia ait : ' sine 
tua etiam admonitione quae proclamas fecissem, si res sacra meis 
conatibus non obstaret; nam scias eum eulogiis sacerdotis esse 
muuitum, ideo ei nocere non possum ' (see Suppl.) — In the 
Vita Godehardi Hildesiensis (first quarter of 11th cent.), cap. 4 
(Leibn. 1, 492), we read: Erat etiam in orientali parte civitatis 
nostrae (Hildenes-hem) pains horrified et circummanentibus 
omnino plurali formidine invisa, eo quod ibi, ut opinabantur, tarn 
meridiano quam et nocturno tempore illusiones quasdam horri- 
biles vel audireut vel viderent, quae (sc. palus) a fonte salsuginis 
quae ibidem in medio bulliebat Suiza dicitur. Qua ille (Gode- 
hardus) spectata, et illusione etiam phantastica, qua bruta plebs 
terrebatur, audita, eandem paludem secundo sui adventus anno 
cum cruce et reliquiis sanctorum invasit, et habitationem suam 
ibidem aptavit, et in medio periculo oratorium in honorem S. 
Bartholomaei apostoli fundavit, quo sequenti anno consummato et 
dedicato, omne daemonum phantasma (conf. p. 482) exinde fundi- 
tus extirpavit, et eundem locum omnibus commorantibus vel 
advenientibus gratum et sine qualibet tentatione habitabilem 
reddidit. — My third quotation is a continuation of that given 
on p. 108 from the Vita S. Galli (Pertz 2, 7) : Volvente deinceps 
cursu temporis electus Dei Gall us retia lymphae laxabat in silentio 
noctis, sed inter ea audivit demonem de culmine montis pari suo 
clamantem, qui erat in abditis maris. Quo respondente ' adsum/ 
montanus econtra : 'Surge' inquit f in adjutoinum mihi. Ecce 
peregrini venerunt, qui me de templo ejecerunt (nam deos con- 
terebaut quos incolae isti colebant, insuper et eos ad se conver- 
tebant) ; veni, veni, adjuva nos expellere eos de terris.' Marinus 
demon respondit : 


' En unus eorum est in pel a go, 
cui nunquarn nocere potero, 
volui enim retia sua ledere, 
sed me victum proba lugere : 
signo orationis est semper clausus, 
nee umquam somno oppressus.' 

Electus vero Gallus haec audiens munivit se undiqne signaculo 
Christi, dixitque ad eos : 

1 In nomine Jesu Christ! praecipio vobis, 
ut de locis istis recedatis, 
nee aliquem hie ledere presumatis ! ' 

et cum festinatione ad littus rediit, atque abbati suo quae audierat 
recitavit. 1 Quod vir Dei Columbanus audiens, convocavit fratres 
in ecclesiam, solitum signum tangens. O mira dementia diaboli ! 
voces servorum Dei praeripuit vox fantasmatica, cum hejulatus 
atque ululatus dirce vocis audiebatur per cuhnina. — Read further 
on (2, 9) the story of two lake-women who stand naked on the 
shore and throw stones. Everywhere we see the preachers con- 
front the pagan daemons with cross and holy spell, as something 
real ; the mournful howl of the spirits yields to the ringing of 
bells. Gods and spirits are not distinguished : the god cast out 
of the temple, whose image has been broken, is the elf or nix 
meditating revenge. It is remarkable, too, that mountain and 
water sprites are set before us as fellows (pares) ; in folk-tales of 
a later time their affinity to each other seems abundantly estab- 

We have now considered genii of mountains, of woods and of 
rivers ; it remains to review the large and variously named group 
of the friendly familiar Home-sprites. 

They of all sprites stand nearest to man, because they come 
and seek his fellowship, they take up their abode under his very 
roof or on his premises. 

Again, it is a feature to be marked in home-sprites, that they 
are purely male, never female ; there appears a certain absence 
of sex in their very idea, and if any female beings approach this 

1 Conf. the conversations of trolls overheard by two of St. Olaf's men, Foinm. 
sog. 1, 185-188. 


goblin kind, it is former goddesses who have come down in the 
world. 1 

What the Romans called lar,* 2 lar familiar is (see the prologue 
to Plautus's Aulularia) and penas, is named in our older speech 
husing or stetigot (genius loci) ; conf. ' husinga (penates) ' in Not- 
ker's Capella 51. In Cap. 142 N. renders lares by ' ingoumen 
(hiusero aide burgo)'; the literal meaning of ingoumo would be 
guard of the interior. In Cap. 50 he uses ingeside for penates, i.e. 
our ingesinde, inmates, domestics; the form continued to be used 
inMHG. : daz liebeheilige ingeside, Rol. 115, 1. 226, 18. Simi- 
larly the Span, duende, duendecillo (goblin) seems derivable from 
domus, dueiio is house-owner (dominus, distinct from don, p. 299 
note), and duendo domestic, retired. The ON. toft, Swed. tomt, 
means area, domus vacua, and the home-sprite's name is in Swed. 
tomtekarl, tomtegubbe (old fellow on the premises), tomtra, tomte- 
biss, som styr i kiillrars rike (Hallman, p. 73) : Norw. tomtevatte, 
toftvatte. Another ON. name is skurgocf, p. 112. We can trace 
in them a peculiar connexion with the hearth of the house ; they 
often come out from under it (p. 456 n.), it seems to be the door, as 
it were, to their subterranean dwelling : they are strictly hearth- 
gods. Here and there in Germany we also meet with the name 
gesell, fellow (supra, p. 464, selle, selke), gutgesell, nachbar, lieber 
nachbar, in the Netherlands goede hind (Horae Belg. 119), in 
England goodfellow, in Denmark god dreng, good boy, Mare 
qranne, dear neighbour, (conf. bona socia, p. 283-8, and guote 
holde, p. 266). The Eng. puck we may indeed connect with the 
Ir. phuka, Wei. pwcca, 9, but with more justice perhaps with the 
Dan. pog (lad), which is simply the Swed. pojke, ON. puki (puer), 
and comes from Finn, poica (filius) ; in Lower Germany too they 
say pook for a puny stunted man (Brem. wb. 3, 349). Heim- 
reich's Nordfries. chron. 2, 348 has huspuke (see Suppl.). 

From the 13th century (and possibly earlier, if only we had 
authorities) i down to the present time the name kobold has been 

1 Holla, Berhta, Werra, Stemjic. Female are the Gr. Mop/j.u> and Aa/xla, the 
Bom. Lamia, Mania, Maniola. The Poles too have a fern. Omacnica : ' Aniculae 
vetant pueros edere in tenebris, ne spectrum hoc devorent, quod eos insatiabiles 
reddat,' Linde sub v. ' omacac,' to burden. OHG. agenggun lamiae,iGraff 1, 132. 

- Larva (spectre, daemon) is conn, with lar, as arvum, arvus with arare. The 
Monachus Sangall. calls the pilosus (p. 481) larva. 

3 Croker's Fairy legends 3, 230-2. 262. 

4 ' Ace. to Falke, a Koboltesdorp (ann. 9-46), Trad. corv. ; Adalpertus chobolU 
kobolt (ann. 1185), MB. 27, 36. 42.' Extr. from Suppl. 


in use. A doc. of 1250 in Bohmer's Cod. francof. 1, 83 lias a 
' Heinricus dictus Coboldus.' Even before that date coboldus 
occurs (Zeitschr. des Hess, vereins 3, 64). Conrad of Wurzbnrg, 
MS. 2, 206% has: 'inir ist ein loser hoveschalk als ein kobolt 
von buhse/ no better than a k. of boxwood ; and the Misnaere 
(Amgb. 48 a ) : c we den kobolden, die alsus erstummen (are so 
struck dumb) ! mir ist ein holzin (wooden) bischof vil lieber 
dan ein stummer herre.' The notions of kobold, dwarf, thumb- 
kin, piqipet, idol largely run into one another (conf. supra, malik, 
p. 104 note). It seems, they used to carve little home-sprites 
of boxwood and set them up in the room for fun, as even now 
wooden nutcrackers and other mere playthings are cut in the 
shape of a dwarf or idol ; yet the practice may have had to do 
with an old heathen worship of small lares, to whom a place was 
assigned in the innermost part of the dwelling ; in time the 
earnest would turn into sport, and even christian sentiment tole- 
rate the retention of an old custom. 1 They must also have tied 
rags and shreds into dolls, and set them up. The dumb wooden 
kobold is kept in countenance by the ' wooden bishop 7 mentioned 
immediately after by the Misnsere. 2 In the oft-quoted poem of 
Eiiediger we find (17 d of the Konigsb.MS.) 'in koboldes sprache/ 
[i.e., speaking low] . In Altd. w. 2, 55 ' einen kobold von wahse 
machen,' one of wax. Hoffmann's Fundgruben give us in the 
Glossary 386, from a Vocab. of the 14th century, opold for 
kopold. Hugo von Trimberg has several allusions to kobolds : 
line 5064, f und lern einander goukelspil, unter des mantel er 
kobolte mache, der (whereat) manic man tougen (secretly) mit im 
lache ' ; 5576, ' der male ein andern kobolt dar, der ungessen bi 
im sitze ' ; 10277, ' einer siht den andern an, als kobolt hern tater- 
man' ; 10843, ' ir abgot (the heathens' gods), als ich gelesen 
han, daz waren kobolt und taterman' ; 11527, 'Got mohte wol 
lachen, solte ez sin, wan sine tatermennelin (same in Roth's 
Fragment, p. 65) so wunderlich uf erden leben,' God might 
laugh to see his little mannikins behave so strangely. Jugglers 

1 One ought to search out the age and design of the various gear that is set out 
(as mere ornament this long while) on shelves and tables ; from this and from 
long-established moulds for pastry, we may arrive at some conclusions about the 
heathen custom of carving or ' doughing ' idols (conf. pp. 15. 105. 112. 114) : teig 
(dough) including any soft substance, clay, wax or tlour-paste. 

2 On • papa salignus ' conf. Reinh. p. xciv. 


bring kobolds out from under their cloak, kobolds are painted 
on the wall, the heathen gods wei*e nothing but kobolds and 

tatermen, to stare at each other like kobold and taterman, 

all through, the kobold appears as the tiny tricky home-sprite. 
In writers of the 17th century I find the remarkable phrase ' to 
laugh like a kobold,' Ettner's Unwiird. doct. p. 340, and App. p. 
53 ; ' you laugh as though you'd empty yourself, like a kobolt' 
Eeimdich p. 149. This must either mean, to laugh with mouth 
agape, like a carved kobold, who may have been so represented, 
or simply to laugh loud and heartily. 1 Again, c to laugh like a 
hampelmann,' Deutschfranzos p. 274; f ho, ho, ho! the loud 
laugh of Robin Goodfellow/ Anecd. and Trad., ed. by W. J. 
Thorns, Lond. 1839, p. 115. In the poem of Zeno 867. 1027 
this daemonic laughter is expressed by skraken (Brem. wb. 4, 
686 schrachtern). Schweinichen 1, 260 tells of an unquiet spirit 
laughing loud and shrill ; it may be a laugh of mirth or mockery. 

In the Netherlands too we find at an early time the form 
konbout (pi. coubouten, Horae Belg. 1, 119) ; now kabout, and in 
Belgium kabot, kabotermanneken? The Scandinavian languages 
have not the word. 

It is a foreign word, sprung no doubt from the Gr. rcoftaXos 
(rogue), Lat. cobalus, 3 with a t added, as our language is partial 
to forms in -olt for monstrous and ghostly beings. From cobalus, 
in Mid. Lat. already gobelinus, the Fr. has formed its gobelin, 
whence the Engl, goblin, strengthened into hobgoblin. Hanka's 
O. Boh. glosses render 79 b gitulius (getulius, gaetulius) by kobolt, 
and directly after, aplinus (1. alpinus, i.e. alphinus, the 'fool* 
or queen in chess) by tatrman : here are kobolt and tatrman 
together, just as we saw them staring at each other in the 
Renner; hence also the Cod. pal. 311, 126 c speaks of l einen 
taterman malen/ painting a t., and the Wahtelmaere 140 of 
guiding him with strings, ' rihtet zuo mit den sniieren die tater- 

1 ' Hlabtar Uscutitaz,' 1 laughed till he shook, K. 24\ Notk. Cap. 33 has : ' taz 
lahter scutta sia ; Petronius, cap. 24, ' risu dissolvebat ilia sua'; Reinardus 3, 
1929, ' cachimius viscera fissurus'; or, as we say, to split with laughing, laugh 
yourself double, short and small, to pieces, to a holzlin (Gryphius p. m. 877), brown, 
out of your senses ; ' einen schiibel voll lachen ' ; perish, die with laughing, MHG. 
' man swindet under lachen,' Ben. 330. A Breton song in Villemarque 1, 39 speaks 
of the loud laugh of the korred (see Suppl.). 

2 Schayes sur les usages et traditions des Beiges. Louvain 1834, p. 230. 

» Lobeck's Aglaoph. 1308-1328. 


marine 3 (supra, p. 410 g.). To explain this taterman by the 
Engl, tatter has some plausibility, but then our HG. ought 
to have had zaterman (conf. OHG. zata, zatar, Graff 5, 632-3, 
with AS. tasttera, panniculus). The glossist above may have 
meant by gaetulius an African savage, by alpinus a Tartar (MHG. 
tater, tateler), or still better, a fool; 1 the word taterman occurs 
in other 0. Boh. documents besides, and signifies doll and idol 
(Jungmann 3, 554 b ) ; foreign to all other Slavic dialects, it seems 
borrowed from German. 2 Its proper meauing can only be re- 
vealed by a fuller insight into the history of puppet-shows. Per- 
haps the Hung, tatos (juggler) has a claim to consideration. 3 

Several MSS. however and the first printed edition of the 
Renner have not taterman at all, but katerman (Cod. francof. 
164 b reads verse 10843 kobiilde unde katirman), which is not 
altogether to be rejected, and at lowest offers a correct secondary 
sense. Katerman, derived from kater (tom-cat), may be com- 
pared with heinzelman, hinzelman, hinzemdnnchen, the name of 
a home-sprite, 4 with Winze the cat in Reineke, and the wood- 
sprite Katzenveit (p. 480) . The puss-in-boots of the fairy-tale plays 
exactly the part of a good-natured helpful kobold ; another one 
is called stiefel (boot, Deut. sag. no. 77), because he wears a 
large boot : by the boot, I suppose, are indicated the gefeite 
schuhe (fairy shoes) of older legend, with which one could travel 
faster on the ground, and perhaps through the air ; such are the 
league-boots of fairy-tales and the winged shoes of Hermes. The 
name of Ileinze is borne by a mountain-sprite in the Frosch- 
meuseler. Heinze is a dimin. of Heinrich, just as in Lower 
Germany another noisy ghost is called Chimke, dimin. of Joachim 
(conf. 'dat gimken,' Brem. wb. 5, 379) : the story of Chimmeken 

1 There is in the kobold's character an unmistakable similarity to the witty 
court-fool ; hence I feel it significant, that one described in Schweinichen 1, 2(50-2 
expressly carries a bawble. The Engl, hobgoblin means the same as cloumgoblin 
(Nares sub v. hob). 

2 Hanusch (Slav. myth. 299) takes the taterman (he says, hasterman also occurs) 
for a water-sprite. 

3 ' In Tyrol tatterman— scarecrow, coward, kobold, from tattern, zittern, to quake, 
skedaddle ; Frommann 2, 327. Leoprechting p. 177 says, tattern to frighten ; at 
Gratz in Styria, the night before solstice, tattermann, a bugbear, is carried round 
and set on fire in memory of extirpated heatbenism.' — Extr. from Suppl. 

4 Deut. sag. no. 75 ; the story is 100 years later than the composition of the 
Eeineke. Hinzelmann leaves a dint in the bed, as if a cat had lain in it. Luther's 
Table-talk (ed. 1571, p. l-H") had previously related the like concerning a spirit 



(of about 1327) is to be found in Kantzow's Pomerania 1, 333. 
The similar and equally Low-German name WolterJcen seems 
to have a wider circulation. Samuel Meiger in his Panurgia 
lamiarum (Hamb. 1587. 4), bok 3 cap. 2, treats ' van den laribus 
domesticis edder husknechtkens, de men ok Wolterken unde 
Chimken an etliken orden nomet^ These Wolterkens are also 
mentioned by Arnkiel (Cimbr. heidenth. 1, 49) ; in the Nether- 
lands they are called Wouters, Wouterken, and Tuinman 2, 201 
has a proverb ' 't is een wilde Wouter,' though incorrectly he 
refers it to wout (silva). Wouter, Wolter is nothing but the 
human proper name Walter bestowed on a home-sprite. It is 
quite of a piece with the familiar intercourse between these spirits 
and mankind, that, beside the usual appellatives, certain proper 
names should be given them, the diminutives of Henry, Joachim, 
Walter. Not otherwise do I understand the Robin and Nisse?i in 
the wonted names for the English and Danish goblins Robin 
goodfellow and Nissen god dreng. Robin is a French-English 
form of the name Robert, OHG. Hruodperaht, MHG. Ruotperht, 
our Ruprecht, Rupert, Ruppert ; and Robin fellow is the same 
home-sprite whom we in Germany call Tcnecht Ruprecht, and 
exhibit to children at Christmas, but who in the comedies of the 
16-1 7th centuries becomes a mere Riipel or Riippel, i.e. a merry 
fool in general. 1 In England, Robin Goodfellow seems to get 
mixed up with Robin Hood the archer, as Hood himself reminds 
us of Hodeken (p. 463) ; and I think this derivation from a 
being of the goblin kind, and universally known to the people, 
is preferable to the attempted historical ones from Rubertus 
a Saxon mass-priest, or the English Robertus knight, one 
of the slayers of Thomas Becket. Nisse, Nissen, current in 
Denmark and Norway, must be explained from Niels, Nielsen, 

1 Ayrer's Fastnachtspiele 73 d confirms the fact of Riipel being a dimin. of 
Kuprecht. Some dialects use Riipel, Riepel as a name for the tom-cat again ; in 
witch-trials a little young devil is named Rub el. Ace. to the Leipzig Avanturier 1, 

22-3, knecht Ruprecht apjDears in shaggy clothes, sack on back and rod in hand. 

[If Hob in hobgoblin stands for Eobert, it is another instance of the friendly or at 
least conciliatory feeling that prompted the giving of such names. In Mids. N. 
Dream ii. 1, the same spirit that has just been called Robin Goodfellow, is thus 
addressed : 

Those that .Hofc-goblin call you, and sweet Puck, 
You do their work, and they shall have good luck. 

Of course Hob as a man's name is Eobert, as Hodge is Eoger. — Trans.] 


i.e. Nicolaus, Niclas, 1 not from our HGr. common noun ( nix ' 
the watersprite, which is in Danish nok, nok (p. 488), and has 
no connexion with Nisse ; and the Swed. form is also Nilson. I 
find a confirmation of this in our habit of assigning to Niclaus, 
Glaus or Clobes the selfsame part that in some districts is played 
by Ruprecht. To this latter I am inclined to refer even the 
words of so early a writer as Ofterdingen, MS. 2, 2 b : ' Rupreht 
mhi hneclit muoz iuwer har gelich den toren schern/ R. my man 
must shear your hair like that of fools. A home-sprite Rudy (for 
Rudolf) in Mone's Anz. 3, 365. 

Another set of names is taken from the noises which these 
spirits keep up in houses : you hear them jumping softly, knock- 
ing at walls, racketing and tumbling on stairs and in lofts. 
Span, trasgo (goblin), and trasguear (to racket) ; Fr. soterai, 
sotret (jumper), Mem. de l'acad. celt. 4, 91 ; ekerken (eichhorn- 
chen, squirrel), Deut. sag. no. 78; poltergeist, rumpelgeist, rum- 
pelstih in the Kindermarchen no. 55, rumpelstilt in Fischart ; 2 
one particular goblin is called klopfer, knocker (Deut. sag. no. 
76), and it may be in this connexion that hdmmerlein, hemerlein 
(supra, p. 182) has come to be applied to home-sprites of diabolic 
nature. Nethl. bullman, bullerman, bullerkater, from bullen, 
bullern, to be boisterous. Flem. boldergeest, and hence 'bi 
holder te bolder/ our 'holter die polter/ helter-skelter. A pop- 
hart, identical with rumpelstilt in Fischart, is to be derived 
from popeln, popern, to keep bobbing or thumping softly and 
rapidly; 3 a house-goblin in Swabia was called the poppele ; in 
other parts popel, popel, popelmann, popanz, usually with the side- 
meaning of a muffled ghost that frightens children, and seldom 
used of playful good-humoured goblins. At the same time popel 
is that which muffles (puppt) itself: about Henneberg, says 
Reinwald 2, 78, a dark cloud is so called ; it contains the notion 

1 Not only Nielsen, but Nissen is a family name in Denmark, and can only 
mean the same, by no means nix or goblin. [I suppose Niels is rather Nigellus, 
Nigel, which breaks down the connexion with Nicolas or Claus ; still the two can 
stand independently. — Tkans.] 

2 Is stilt, stilz the old stalt in compounds? Gramm. 2, 527. What the fairy- 
tale says of Rumpelstilt, and how his name has to be guessed, other stories tell of 
EisenhUtel or Hopfenhiltel (who wear an iron hat or one wreathed with hop-leaves), 
Kletke's Alman. v. volksm. 67 ; or of the dwarf Holzruhrlein, Bonnefiihrlein, Harrys 
1, 18 [piKnirfiker, Gebhart, Tepentiren, Mullenh. 306-8, of Titteli Ture, Sv. folkv. 
1, 171. — Suppl.] ; and we shall meet with the like in giant-stories. 

3 Staid. 1, 204. Schm. 1, 2<J3. 323. 


of mask and tarnkappe (p. 333). In connexion with Holda, a 
Hollepopel, Hollepeter is spoken of. 

The same shifting of form appears in the words mumhart 
(already in Caesarius heisterb. 7, 46: 'uiummart momordit me'), 
mummel, mummelmann, mummanz, 1 which express the very same 
notion, c mummen, mummeln ' signifying to mumble, to utter a 
muffled sound. Or can we connect it with mumel, muomel, the 
name of the watersprite (p. 490) ? In that case, vermuramen 
(to disguise), mummerei (mumming, larva) would seem to mean 
acting like the spectre, instead of the spectre having taken his 
name from mumming (see Suppl.). 

The word butze as far back as the 12th-13th century had the 
same meaning as mummart and poppart : a place called Puzi- 
prunnun, Puciprunnen, MB. 6, 60. 62. 9, 420 (12th century), 
unless puzi = puteus be meant, might take its name from a well, 
haunted by such a home-sprite. ' Ein ungehiurer (uncanny) 
butze,' Martina 116° 224 a ; ' si sehent mich nicht mer an in butzen 
wis/ they look at me no more in butze wise, Walth. 28, 37 ; ' in 
butzenwise gehn,' Oberlin sub v. ; ' den butzen vorht er kleine, 
als man do seit von kinden/ he little fears the b., as we say of 
children, Albr. Tit. x. 144 (Hahn 1275) ; butzengriul, -horror, 
Walth. 140, 2. MsH. 3, 45 l a ; 'geloub ich daz, so biz mich 
butze,' b. bite me if I believe it, Hatzlerin 287 a , which agrees with 
'mummart momordit me' above; 'ein Jcinderbutze,' Ls. 1, 617; 
' forht ich solchen biitzel,' Ls. 1, 380, where a wihtel is spoken 
of. So, to frighten with the butze, to tear off the butze (mask) ; 
butzen antliit (face) and butzen kleider (clothes) =darva in 
Kaisersperg (Oberlin 209) ; winterbutz in Brant's Narrenschiff 
129 (winterbutte in the Plattdeutsch translation 140 b ). I do 
not understand the butzenhansel in Weisth. 1, 691. All over 
Germany almost, we hear to this day : 'der butz kommt,' 2 or 'der 
butmemann, butzelmann,' and in Elsass butzmummel, the same as 
butz or mummel alone, buz, Jager's Ulm, p. 522. butzenmann, 
Fischart's Bienkorb 194 a . butz, Garg. 231 a . butzemann, Simpl. 
2, 248. In Bavaria, fasnachtbutz, Shrovetide b., buzmann, buzi- 
bercht, b. coupled with the Bercht or Berchta of our pp. 272-9 ; 

1 For mum bans (muffle-jack), as popanz is for pop-hans (bob-jack), and as 
there were likewise blindhans, grobhaus, karsthaus, scharrbans, etc. 
- In Normandy : 'bush, the gobelin will eat you up.' 


butzwinkel, lurking-place, butzlfinster, pitch-dark, w ncn the ap- 
parition is most to be dreaded ; ( the putz would take ns over 
hill and dale/ Schra. 1, 229. 230; the butz who leads travellers 
astray (Muchar's Gastein, p. 145). In Swabia butzemnaukler 
(from maucheln, to be sly), butzenbrecht, butzenravle, butzenrolle, 
rollputz, butzenbell (because his rattle rolls and his bell tinkles), 
Schmid 111. About Hanau I have heard the interjection, katza- 
butza-rola ! the 'katze-butze' bringing up the connexion between 
cat and goblin (p. 503) in a new form. In Switzerland bootzi, bozl, 
St. 1, 204. Here several meanings branch out of one another : 
first we have a monstrous butz that drags children away, then a 
tiny biitzel, and thence both biltzel and butz-igel (-urchin) used 
contemptuously of little deformed creatures. In like manner but 
in Low Germ, stands for a squat podgy child ; butten, verbutten 
is to get stunted or deformed, while the bugbear is called butte, 
butke, budcle, buddeke : f dat di de butke nig bit/ (that thee the 
bogie bite not !) is said satirically to children who are afraid of 
the dark, Brem. wb. 1, 173-5; and here certainly is the place 
for the watersprite butt or buttje in the Kindermarchen no. 19, 
the name having merely been transferred to a blunt-headed fish, 
the rhombus or passer marinus. 1 There is also probably a butte- 
maim, buttmann, but more commonly in the contracted form 
bit-man (Br. wb. 1, 153). Nethl. bytebauw, for buttebauw, which 
I identify with Low Germ, bu-ba (Br. wb. 1, 152). The Dan. 
bussemand, bussegroll, bussetrold (Molbech, p. 60) seems to be 
formed on the German (see Suppl.). — The origin of this butze, 
butte is hard to ascertain : I would assume a lost Goth, biuta 
(tundo, pulso), baut, butum, OHG. piuzu, poz, puzum, whence 
OHG. anapoz, our amboss, anvil, MHG. bozen (pulsare), and 
gebiuze, thumping, clatter [Engl, to butt?], conf. Lachmann 
on Nib. 1823, 2. Fragm. 40, 186; butze would be a thumping 
rapping sprite, perfectly agreeing with mumhart and pophart,- 
and we may yet hear of a bozhart or buzhart. But, like 

1 Homesprite and water-sprite meet in this soothsaying wish-granting fish. 
The story of the butt has a parallel in the OFr. tale of an elvish spirit and en- 
chanter Merlin, who keeps fulfilling the growing desires of the charcoal burner, till 
they pass all bounds, then plunges him back into his original poverty (Meon, nouv. 
rec. 2, 242-252. Jubinal 1, 128-135. 

2 As the monstrous includes the repulsive and unclean, it is not surprising that 
both butze and popcl signify mucus, filth (Oberlin 210. Schm. 1, 291). The same 
with Swiss boog, St. 1, 203. 


butzenhiinsel, there is also a Icanselmann used for spiritus 
familiaris (Phil. v. Sittew. 5, 328, ed. Lugd.), and the similar 
hampelmann for goblin, puppet and mannequin ( = manneke, 
mannikin). Bavar. hdmpel, haimpel, both devil and simpleton 
(Schm. 2, 197), Austr. henparl (Hofer 2, 46). 

The Fr. fullet, It. foletto, is a diminuitive of fol, fou; which, 
like follis (bellows), seems to be derived from an obsolete follere 
(to move hither and thither), and brings us to a fresh contact 
of the home-sprite with the fool. 1 Then lutin, also luton, perhaps 
from the Lat. luctus : a sprite who wails and forebodes sorrow ? 
Lithuan. bildukkas, bildunas, bildziuks (noisy sprite), from 
bildenti (to racket, rattle) ; grozdunas from grodzia (there is a 
racket made). Sloven, ztrazhnih, Serv. strashilo, Boh. strasidlo, 
Pol. straszydlo, from strasiti (terrere) ; Boh. bubdJc (noisy sprite) . 
Somewhat stronger is the Pol. dzieciojad, child-eater, like the 
Lat. manducus. Irish home-sprites are called Cluricauns (Elfenm. 
p. 85-114), Leprechaun, Logheriman (Keightley 2, 179; and see 

But enough of these names : no doubt many more could be 
added. It is time to consider the nature and functions of these 

In stature, appearance and apparel they come very near to 
elves and dwarfs ; legend loves to give them red hair or a 
red beard, and the pointed red hat is rarely missing. Hutchen 
(Hodeke, Hoidike), the Hildesheim goblin, and Hopfeuhuteh 
Eisenhiltel take their names from it. A broad-topped mushroom 
is in Dan. called nissehat. The Norwegian Nissen is imagined 
small like a child, but strong, clothed in grey, with a red peaky 
cap, and carrying a blue light at night. 2 So they can make 
themselves visible or invisible to men, as they please. Their fairy 
shoes or boots have been noticed, p. 503 ; with these they can get 
over the most difficult roads with the greatest speed : it was just 
over mountains and forests that Hiitchen's rennpfad extended 
(Deut. sag. 1, 100), and the schratweg (p. 479) means much the 

i Katherius, ed. Ballerini, p. 314 : 'merito ergo follis latiali rusticitate vocaris, 
quoniam veritate vacuus.' Wilhelni. nietens. ep. 3 : 'follem me rustico verbo 

2 J. N. Wilse's Beskrivelse over Spydeberg, Christiana 1779, p. 418. Conf. the 
blue light of the black rnannikin, Kinderm. no. 116. 


same. 1 With this walking apparatus and this swiftness there is 
associated now and then some animal's form and name : Heinze, 
Hemzelruann, polterkater, katermann, boot-cat, squirrel ; their 
shuffling and bustling about the house is paralleled by the nightly 
turbulence of obstreperous cats. 2 They like to live in the stable, 
bam or cellar of the person whose society they have chosen, 
sometimes even in a tree that stands near the house (Swed. bo-trii, 
dwelling-tree). You must not break a bough off such a tree, or 
the offended goblin will make his escape, and all the luck of the 
house go with him ; moreover, he cannot abide any chopping in 
the yard or spinning on a Thursday evening (Superst. Swed. no. 
HO). 3 In household occupations they shew themselves friendly 
and furthersome, particularly in the kitchen and stable. The 
dwarf-king Goldemar (pp. 453. 466) is said to have lived on in- 
timate terms with Neveling of Hardenberg at the Hardenstein, 
and often shared his bed. He played charmingly on the harp, 
and got rid of much money at dice ; he called Neveling brother- 
in-law, and often admonished him, he spoke to everybody, and 
made the clergy blush by discovering their secret sins. His 
hands were lean like those of a frog, cold and soft to the grasp ; 
he would allow himself to be felt, but never to be seen. After a 
stay of three years he made off without injuring any one. Other 
accounts call him king Vollmar, and they say the room he lived 
in is called Volhiiar's hammer to this day : a place at table had 
to be kept for him, and one in the stable for his horse ; meats, 
oats and hay were consumed, but of horse or man you saiv nothing 
but the shadow. Once an inquisitive man having sprinkled ashes 
and peas to make him fall and to get sight of his footprints, he 
sprang upon him as he was lighting the fire, and chopped him up 
into pieces, which he stuck on a spit and roasted, but the head 
and legs he thought proper to boil. The dishes, when ready, 
were carried to Vollmar's chamber, and one could hear them 
being consumed with cries of joy. After this, no more was heard 

1 So a chemin de fees is spoken of in Mom. celt. 4, 240, and a trollaskeid 
(curriculum gigantum) 'in Laxd. saga 66. 

- Witches and fays often assume the shape of a cat, and the cat is a creature 
peculiarly open to suspicions of witchcraft. 

3 Wilse, ubi supra, entirely agrees : ' tomtegubben skal have sin til hold unde 
gamle triier ved stuehuset (boetriier), og derfor har man ej tordet falde disse gaud- 
ske.' To this connexion of home-sprites with tree-worship we shall have to return 
further on. 


of king Vollmar ; but over his chamber-door it was found written, 
that from that time the house would be as unlucky as it had been 
prosperous till then, and the scattered estates would never come 
together again till there were three Hardenbergs of Hardenstein 
living at once. Both spit and gridiron were long preserved, till 
in 1651 they disappeared during the Lorrain war, but the pot is 
still there, let into the kitchen wall. 1 The home-sprite's parting 
prophecy sounds particularly ancient, and the grim savagery of 
his wrath is heathen all over. Sam. Meiger says of the wolter- 
Jcens : ' Se vinden sik gemeinichlich in den hiiseren, dar ein god 
vorrad (store) van alien dingen is. Dar scholen se sik bedenst- 
haftigen (obsequious) anstellen, waschen in der koken up, boten 
voir (beet the fire), schiiren de vate, schrapen de perde im stalle, 
voderen dat quik, dat it vet und glat herin geit, theen (draw) 
water und dragent dem vehe (cattle) vor. Men kan se des 
nachtes horen de ledderen edder treppen (or stairs) up und dal 
stigen, lachen, wen se den megeden efte knechte de decken 
aftheen (pull off), se richten to, houwen in, jegen (against) dat 
geste kamen scholen, 2 smiten de ware in dem huse umme, de den 
morgen gemeinliken darna verkoft wert/ The goblin then is an 
obliging hardworking sprite, who takes a pleasure in waiting on 
the men and maids at their housework, and secretly dispatching 
some of it himself. He curries the horse?; combs out their 
manes, 3 lays fodder before the cattle, 4 draws water from the well 
and brings it them, and cleans out the stable. For the maids he 
makes up fire, rinses out the dishes, cleaves and carries wood, 
sweeps and scrubs. His presence brings prosperity to the house, 
his departure removes it. He is like the helpful earth-mannikins 
who lend a hand in field labour (p. 451 n.). At the same time he 
oversees the management of the house, that everything be done 
orderly; lazy and careless workers get into trouble with him (as 
with Holla and Berhta, pp. 269. 273), he pulls the coverlets off 

1 Von Steinen's Westph. gesch. pp. 777-9. 

2 When the cat trims her whiskers, they say it is a sign of guests. 

3 Like the white lady (Berhta), whose nightly visits are indicated the nest 
morning by the wax that hasdropt from her taper on the manes (Deut. sag. no. 122). 
In Wales the people believe that goats have their beards combed out every Friday 
night by the elves (Croker 3, 204). 

4 Hence the name futtermannchen, (confounded at times with Peter mannchen) ; 
but often he has one favourite horse that he pays special attention to, taking hay 
out of the others' cribs to bring to him. Faye p. 44. 


the beds of sluggards, blows their light out, turns the best cow's 
neck awry, kicks the dawdling milkmaid's pail over, and mocks 
her with insulting laughter j his good-nature turns into worrying 
and love of mischief, he becomes a ' tormenting spirit/ Agenvund 
in the Eeinardus 4, 859-920 seems to me no other than a house- 
doemon, distorted and exaggerated by the poet, disturbing the 
maid in her sleep, her milking and churning (see Suppl.). 1 

Servants, to keep on good terms with him, save a little potful 
of their food on purpose for him, which is surely a vestige of little 
sacrifices that were offered him of old (p. 448). That is probably 
why one Swiss goblin bears the name Napfhans, Potjack. But 
in many cases it is only done on holidays, or once a week. The 
sprite is easily satisfied, he puts up with a saucerful of porridge, 
a piece of cake and a glass of beer, which are left out for him 
accordingly ; on those evenings he does not like any noisy work 
to be going on, either in or out of doors. This they call in 
Norway 'at holde qvelvart (qvellsvart),' to hold evening rest. 
Those who desire his goodwill, give him good words : ' Icidre 
granne, gior det ! ' dear neighbour, do this ; and he replies con- 
formably. He is said at times to carry his preference for the 
goodman so far as to pilfer hay and straw from other farmers' 
barns or stables, and bring it to him (see Suppl.). 

The Nissen loves the moonlight, and in wintertime you see 
him merrily skipping across the farmyard, or skating. He is a 
good hand at dancing and music, and much the same is told of 
him as of the Swedish stromkarl (p. 493), that for a grey sheep 
he teaches people to play the fiddle. 2 

The home-sprite is contented with a trifling wage : a new hat, a 
red cap, a parti-coloured coat with tinkling bells he will make 
shift with. The hat and cap he has in common with dwarfs 
(p. 463), and therefore also the power to make himself invisible. 
Petronius (Satir. cap. 38) shows it was already a Roman super- 
stition : * sed quomodo dicunt, ego nihil scivi, sed audivi, quo- 
modo incuboni pileam rapuisset, et thesaurum invenit.' Home- 

1 The description of his figure (a horse's mane, hawk's bill, cat's tail, peat's 
beard, ox's horns and cock's feet) can hardly have been all invented there and then. 

2 Unless Wilse (Beskriv. over Spyd. 419) has confounded Nissen with nocken ; 
yet the German goblin Goldemar was likewise musical (Ir. Elfenm. lxxxiii.). W Use, 
and Faye, pp. 43-45, give the best account of the Norwegian Nissen, and Tliiele i. 
134-5 of the Danish. 


sprites guard treasures, and in Nib. 399 Siegfried becomes 
master of the hoard as soon as he has taken Alberich's tarakappe 
from him. In Calderon's Dama duende the little goblin wears a 
large hat : 'era unfraijle tamanito, y tenia un cucurucho tamano.' 
The Swedish ' tomte i garden ' looks like a year-old child, but 
has an old knowing face under his red cap. He shews himself at 
midday (see chap. XXXVI., daemon meridianus) in summer and 
autumn, slow and panting he drags a single straw or an ear 
(p. 459) ; when the farmer laughed and asked, ' What's the 
odds whether you bring me that or nothing ? ' he quitted the 
farm in dudgeon, and went to the next. From that time pros- 
perity forsook the man who had despised him, and went over to 
his neighbour. The farmer who respected the busy tomte and 
cared for the tiniest straw, became rich, and cleanliness and 
order reigned in his household. Many Christians still believe in 
such home-sprites, and present them an offering every year, ' pay 
them their wage ' as they call it. This is done on the morn of 
Yule, and consists of grey cloth, tobacco and a shovelful of earth, 
Afzelius 2, 169. A puck served the monks of a Mecklenburg 
monastery for thirty years, in kitchen, stall and elsewhere ; he 
was thoroughly good-natured, and only bargained for e tunicam 
de diversis coloribus, et ti/ntinnabulis pleriam.' 1 In Scotland there 
lived a goblin Shellycoat, and we saw (p. 465) that the dwarfs 
of the Mid. Ages also loved bells [schellen ; and schellenkappe is 
Germ, for cap and bells] . The bells on the dress of a fool still 
attest his affinity to the shrewd and merry goblin (fol, follet) ; 
see Suppl. 

He loves to play merry pranks, and when he has accomplished 
one, he is fain to laugh himself double for delight : hence that 
goblin laughter (p. 502) and chuckling. But also when he sulks, 
and means mischief to those who have brought him into trouble 
and difficulty, he utters a scornful laugh at the top of his voice. 2 

As henchman true, he abides by the master he once takes up 
with, come weal come woe. But his attachment is often found 
irksome, and one cannot be rid of him again. A farmer set fire 

1 The story (as written down in 1559) is given in Em. Joach. Westphal's Speci- 
men docuinentorurn ineditorum, Rostock 1726, pp. 156-166. 

- Scott's Minstrelsy I. civ. mentions a North English Brag or Barguest : 'he 
usually ended his mischievous frolics with a horselaugh.'' Conf. Hone's Tablebook 
2, 656. 


to his barn, to burn the goblin that haunted it ; when it is all 
ablaze, there sits the sprite at the back of the cart in which they 
were removing the contents (Deut. sag. no. 72). ] In Moneys 
Anzeiger 1835, 312 we read of a little black man that was 
bought with a chest, and when this was opened, he hopped out 
and slipped behind the oven, whence all efforts to rout him out 
were fruitless ; but he lived on excellent terms with the house- 
hold, and occasionally shewed himself to them, though never to 
strangers. This black figure reminds one both of the Scandi- 
navian dwarfs, and of the devil. Some thoroughly good goblin - 
stories are in Adalb. Kuhn's collection, pp. 42. 55. 84. 107. 159. 
191-3. 372. 2 

There are also goblins who, like nix and watersprite, are 
engaged in no man's service, but live independently ; when such 
a one is caught, he will offer you gifts or tell your fortune, to be 
set at liberty again. Of this sort is the butt in the nursery-tale 

1 Very similar stories in Euhn, no. 103, Thiele 1, 136, and the Irish tale of the 
cluricaun (pp. 92. 213 of the transl.). Also a capital Polish story about Iskrzycki, 
in Woycicki's Klechdy 1, 198 : An unknown person, who called himself Iskrzycki 
[flinty, from iskra = spark, says Grimm ; there is also a Slav. iskri = near, iskrenny 
= neighbour, friendly] came and offered his services to a man of noble family. 
The agreement was drawn up, and even signed, when the master observed that Isk- 
rzycki had horse's feet, and gave him notice of withdrawal. But the servant stood 
on his rights, and declared his intention of serving his master whether he would 
or no. He lived invisible by the fireplace, did all the tasks assigned him, and by 
degrees they got used to him ; but at last the lady pressed her husband to move, 
and he arranged to take another estate. The family all set out from the mansion, 
and had got through the better part of the way, when, the log-road being out of 
repair, the carriage threatens to upset, and the lady cries out in alarm. Suddenly 
a voice from the back of the carriage calls out: Never fear, my masters! Iskrzycki 
is with you (nie boj si§, pani ; Iskrzycki z warni). The ' masters ' then perceiving 
that they could not shake him off, turned back to their old house, and lived at 
peace with the servant until his term expired. [English readers will remember 

Tennyson's ' Yes, we're flitting, says the ghost.'] The alraun or gallows-maiy 

nikin in Deutsche sagen nos. 83. 8-1 is not properly a kobold, but a semi-diabolic 
being carved out of a root, and so diminutive that he can be kept in a glass ; like 
an idol, he has to be bathed and nursed. In one thing however he resembles the 
home-sprite, that he will not leave his owner, and even when thrown away he 
always comes back again, unless indeed he be sold [orig. 'bought'] for" less than 
he cost. The last purchaser has to keep him. Simpliciss. 2, 181. 203. Conf. 
Schm. 3, 9(3-7. [Home-sprites can be bought and sold, but the third buyer must 
keep him, Mullenhoff p. 322. With ref. to the ' idol (gotze) ' : As the figure of the 
child Jesus has its shirt washed (Sommer, pp. 38. 173), so the heckmdnnchen must 
be dressed up anew at a certain time every year, 10 Ehen, p. 235. — Extr. from 

2 To escape the futtermannchen, a farmer built a new house, but the day before 
he moved, he spied the f. dipping his grey coat, in the brook : ' My little coat here 
I swill and souse, To-morrow we move to a fine new house.' Bbrner's Orlagau, 
p. 246. Whoever has the kobold must not wash or comb himself (Sommer p. 171. 
Miillenh. 209) ; so in the case of the devil, oh. XXXIII.— Extr. from Suppl. 


(p. 507), likewise the folet in Marie de Fr. 2, 140, who grants 
three wishes (oremens). And the captive marmennill (p. 434), 
or the sea-wife, does the same. 

The unfriendly, racketing and tormenting spirits who take pos- 
session of a house, are distinguished from the friendly and good- 
natured by their commonly forming a whole gang, who disturb 
the householder's rest with their riot and clatter, and throw stones 
from the roof at passers by. A French comedy of the 16th 
century, ( Les Esprits/ 1 represents goblins racketing in a house, 
singing and playing at night, and aiming tiles at passers by in 
the daytime ; they are fond of fire, but make a violent uproar 
every time the master spits. 3 In Gervase of Tilbury, cap. 18, 
the folleti also pelt with stones, and this of stone-throwing is 
what we shall meet with in quite early stories of devils ; al- 
together the racketing sprites have in this respect more of the 
devil or spectre in them than of the elf : it is a darkening and 
distortion of their original nature in accordance with Christian 

So it becomes clear, at last, how the once familiar and faith- 
ful friend of the family under heathenism has gradually sunk 
into a bugbear or a taunt to children : a lot which he shares with 
goddesses and gods of old. As with Holle and Berhte, so people 
are threatened with the Lamia, the Oniacmica, the manducus and 
goblin (pp. 500. 507) : ' le gobelin vous mangera, le gobelin 
vous attrapera ! ' Little butzel no more, but a frightful butze- 
mann or katzenveit, in mask (strawbeard) or with sooty visage 
he scares (like the roggenmuhme, p. 477). And it is worth 
remarking how, in some districts at least, hnecht Ruprecht, hnecht 
Nicolas, appear at Christmas-time not by themselves, but in 

1 Comedies facecieuses de Pierre de l'Arivey, champenois, Lyon 1597. Eouen, 
1611, p. 242 seq. 

2 Legenda aurea, cap. 177 : Hujus Ludovici tempore, anno Domini 856, ut in 
quadam chronica habetur, in parochia Maguntina malignus spiritus parietes domo- 
rum quasi malleis pulsando et manifeste loquendo et discordias seminando adeo honi- 
inis infestabat, ut quocumque intrasset, statim ilia domus exurereter. Presbyteris 
autem letanias agentibus et aquam benedictain spargentibus inimicus lapides jact- 
abat et multos cruentabat. Tandem aliquando conquiescens confessus est se, quando 
aqua spargebatur, sub capa talis sacerdotis quasi familiaris sui latuisse, accusans 
eum quod cum filia procuratoris in peccatum lapsus fuerit. [This incident, said to 
have occurred at Capmunti (Kembden) near Bingen, is derived from Rudolf! Ful- 
densis Annal. ann. 858, in Pertz 1, 372, where further details are given. — Extr. 
from Suppl. 


attendance on the real gift-giver, the infant Christ or dame 
Berhta : while these dole out their favours, those come on with 
rod and sack, threatening to thrash disobedient children, to 
throw them into the water, to puff their eyes out (Rockenphilos. 
6, 353). Their pranks, their roughness, act as foil to the gracious 
higher being from whom the gifts proceed; they are almost as 
essential to the festival as Jackpudding to our old comedy. I 
can well imagine that even in heathen times the divinity, whose 
appearing heralded a happy time, had at his side some merry elf 
or dwarf as his attendant embodying to the vulgar eye the bless- 
ings that he brought. 1 Strongly in favour of this view are the 
North Franconian names Eullepopel (Popowitsch 522), Hollepeter 
(Schm. 2, 174), the Bavarian Semper, of whom they say he cuts 
naughty children's bodies open and stuffs them with pebbles 
(Schm. 3, 12. 250), exactly after the manner of Holla and Berhta 
(p. 273) 2 ; and consider faithful Eckart, who escorts Holla. 
In Christian times they would at first choose some saint to 
accompany the infant Christ or the mother of God in their dis- 
tribution of boons, but the saint would imperceptibly degenerate 
into the old goblin again, but now a coarser one. The Christmas 
plays sometimes present the Saviour with His usual attendant 
Peter, or else with Niclas, at other times however Mary with 
Gabriel, or with her aged Joseph, who, disguised as a peasant, 
acts the part of knecht Ruprecht. Nicolaus again has converted 
himself into a ' man Clobes ' or Rupert ; as a rule, it is true, 
there is still a Niclas, a saintly bishop and benevolent being, 
distinct from the ' man ' who scares children ; but the characters 
get mixed, and Clobes by himself acts the 'man' (Tobler 105 b , 
106 a ); the Austrian Grampus (Hofer 1, 313. Schm. 2, 110), 
Kra/mpus, Krambas, is possibly for Hieronymus, but how to ex- 
plain the Swiss Schmutzli (Staid. 2, 337) I do not rightly know, 
perhaps simply from his smutty sooty aspect ? Instead of Grampus 
there is also in Styria a Barthel (pointing to Berhta, or Bartho- 
lomew ?) Schmutzbartel 3 and Klaubauf, who rattles, rackets, and 

1 Ileinrich and Ruprecht were once common names for serving-men, as Hans 
and Claus are now. 

2 Zember about Eger in German Bohemia (Popowitsch 523) ; at the same time 
the Lauaitz idol Sompar (supra, p. 71 note) is worth considering. 

3 The phrase ' he knows where Barthel pets his must,' notwithstanding other 
explanations, may refer to a home-sprite well-known in the cellar. 


throws nuts (Denis, Lesef'r. 1, 131 ; see Suppl.). Further, on this 
point I attach weight to the Swedish jullekar, Dan. juleleger, 
yule-lays, undoubtedly of heathen origin, which at Christmas- 
time present Christ and certain saints, but replace our man 
Ruprecht by a julbock, julebuk, i.e. a manservant disguised as 
a goat. 1 This interweaving of jackpudding, fool, Klobes and 
Riipel, of the yule-buck and at last of the devil himself, into the 
rude popular drama of our Mid. Ages, shows what an essential 
part of it the wihtels and tatermans formerly were, how ineradi- 
cable the elvish figures and characters of heathenism. The 
Greeks enlivened the seriousness of their tragedy by satyric 
plays, in which e.g. Proteus, similar to our sea-sprite (p. 434), 
played a leading part. 2 

There is yet another way in which a former connexion between 
gods, wise-women and these genii now and then comes to light. 
The elf who showers his darts is servant or assistant to the high 
god of thunder, the cunning dwarf has forged his thunderbolts 
for him ; like gods, they wear divine helmets of invisibility, and 
the home-sprite has his feet miraculously shod as well ; water- 
sprites can assume the shape of fishes and sea-horses, and home- 
sprites those of cats. The weeping nix, the laughing goblin are 
alike initiated in the mystery of magic tones, and will even un- 
veil it to men that sacrifice. An ancient worship of genii and 
daemons is proved by sacrifices offered to spirits of the mountain, 
the wood, the lake, the house. Goblins, we may presume, ac- 
companied the manifestation of certain deities among men, as 
Wuotan and Holda, and both of these deities are also connected 
with watersprites and swan-maids. Foreknowledge of the future, 
the gift of prophecy, was proper to most genii ; their inexhaust- 
ible cheerfulness stands between the sublime serenity of gods 

1 Read Holberg's Julestue, and look up julvalten in Finn Magn. lexicon, p. 326 

2 They frightened children with sooty Cyclops, and ace. to Calliinachus (Hymn 
to Diana 66-71), Hermes, like our Ruprecht blackened with soot, struck terror 
into disobedient daughters even of gods : 

a\\ ore Kovpduv tls aireidea pLTjrepi revxoi, 
p-y)T-r)p /xrjv KUK\w7ras ey eVi iraidl KaXtaTpei 
"Apyrjv r) "Zrepdv-qv ' 6 5e 8wp.aros £k [ivxcltoio 
2pXCTa.t. 'EppLelrjs, cnroSii] K€xpv^ vo ^ <*'#?7i 
avTiKa. tvjv Kovp-qv p.opp.v(Tff€Tai * 17 5e reKovar/s 
bvvei Zcrti) koXttovs defievt] iirl (paeai x e 'P a S- 


and the solemn fates of mortals. They feel themselves drawn to 
men, and repelled by them. The downfall of heathenism must 
have wrought great changes in the old-established relationship : 
the spirits acquired a new and terrible aspect as ministers and 
messengers of Satan. 1 Some put on a more savage look that 
savours of the giant, especially the woodsprites. Grendel's 
nature borders on those of giants and gods. Not so with the 
females however : the wild women and female nixes drop into 
the class of fortune-telling swan-maids who are of human kind, 
while the elfins that present the drinking-horn melt into the 
circle of valkyrs ; and here again we recognise a general beauty 
pervading all the female spirits, and raising them above the 
males, whose characteristics come out more individually. In 
wichtels, dwarfs and goblins, especially in that children's bugbear 
the man Ruprecht, there shews itself a comic faculty derived 
from the oldest times. 

Through the whole existence of elves, nixes, and goblins there 
runs a low under-current of the unsatisfied, disconsolate : they 
do not rightly know how to turn their glorious gifts to account, 
they always require to lean upon men. Not only do they seek 
to renovate their race by intermarriage with mankind, they also 
need the counsel and assistance of men in their affairs. Though 
acquainted in a higher degree than men with the hidden virtues 
of stones and herbs, they yet invoke human aid for their sick 
and their women in labour (pp. 457. 492), they borrow men's 
vessels for baking and brewing (p. 454 n.), they even celebrate 
their weddings and hightides in the halls of men. Hence too 
their doubting whether they can be partakers of salvation, and 
their unconcealed grief when a negative answer is given. 

1 Brttder Bansch (friar Rush) a veritable goblin, is without hesitation [described 
as being] despatched from hell among the monks ; his name is to be derived from 
russ = fuligo (as kohlrausch was formerly spelt kolruss). 



The relation in which giants stand to dwarfs and men has 
been touched upon in p. 449. By so much of bodily size and 
strength as man surpasses the elf or dwarf, he falls short of the 
giant ; on the other hand, the race of elves and dwarfs has a 
livelier intellect and subtler sense than that of men, and in these 
points again the giants fall far below mankind. The rude coarse- 
grained giant nature is defiant in its sense of material power and 
might, the sly shy dwarf is conscious of his mental superiority. 
To man has been allotted a happy mean, which raises him above 
the giant's intractableness and the dwarf's cunning, and betwixt 
the two he stands victorious. The giant both does and suffers 
wrong, because in his stupidity he undervalues everybody, and 
even falls foul of the gods ; 1 the outcast dwarf, who does discern 
good and evil, lacks the right courage for free and independent 
action. In order of creation, the giant as the sensuous element 
came first, next followed the spiritual element of elvish nature, 
and lastly the human race restored the equilibrium. The abrupt- 
ness of these gradations is a good deal softened down by the 
giants or dwarfs forming frequent alliances with men, affording 
clear evidence that ancient fiction does not favour steep contrasts : 
the very earliest giants have sense and judgment ascribed to 
them (see Suppl.). 

On one side we see giants forming a close tie of brotherhood 
or servile dependence with human heroes, on the other side 
shading off into the type of schrats and woodsprites. 

There is a number of ancient terms corresponding in sense to 
our present word riese (giant) . 2 

1 Not a trace of the finer features of gods is to be seen in the Titans. 0. Muller's 
Proleg. 373. 

2 Some are mere circumlocutions (a counterpart to those quoted on p. 450) : der 
groze man, Er. 5380. der michel man, Er. 5475. der michel knabe, Iw. 5056. 



The oldest and most comprehensive term in Norse is iotunn, 
pi. iotuar (not jotunn, jotnar) ; it is backed up by an AS. eoten, 
pi. eotenas, Beow. 223 (eotena cyn, 836. eotonisc, 5953), or 
eten, Lye sub v.; OE. etin, ettin, Nares sub v.; Scot, ettyn, 
eyttyn, Jamieson sub v. ; an OS. etan, eten can be inferred with 
certainty from the name of a place in old docs., Etanasfeld, 
Etenesfeld (campus gigantis), Wigand's Archiv i. 4, 85. Moser 
nos. 2. 13. 18. 19. And what is more, the word must have lived 
on in later times, down to the latest, for I find the fern, eteninne 
(giantess) preserved at least in nursery-tales. Laurenberg (ed. 
Lappenberg, p. 26) l has ' de olde eteninne,' and another Rostock 
book of the beginning of the 18th century 2 ' die alte eteninne' ; 
I should like to know whence Adelung sub v. mummel gets the 
fact, that in Westphalia a certain terrible female with whom they 
frighten children is called etheninne ? I have no doubt it is 
correct. The Saxon etan warrants us in conjecturing an OHG. 
ezan, ezzan, a Goth, itans, having for root the ON. eta, AS. etan, 
OHG. ezzan, Goth, itan (edere), and for meaning edo (gen. 
edonis), manducus, iroXvfa'vyos, devourer. An AS. poem in Cod. 
exon. 425, 26 says : 'ic mesan mteg meahtelicor and efn etan 
ealdum hyrre/ I can chew and eat more mightily than an old 
giant. Now the question arises, whether another word, which 
wants the suffix -n, has any business here, namely the ON. iotr* 
AS. eot, now only to be found in the compound Forniotr, Forneot 
(p. 240) and the national name Iotar, the Jutes ? One thing 
that makes for it is the same omission of -n in the Swed. jatte 
(gigas), Dan. jette, pi. jetter; then, taking iotnar as = iotar 
(Goth. itan6s = i'tos), we should be justified in explaining the 
names Jotar, Jotland by an earlier (gigantic ?) race whom the 
advancing Teutons crowded out of the peninsula. 1 In that 
case we might expect an OS. et, etes, an OHG. ez, ezes, with the 

1 Johann Laurenberg, a Rostock man,b. 1590, d. 1658. The first ed. of his poem 
appeared 1652. 

2 Ern. Joach. Westphal, De consuetudine ex sacco et libro, Rost. 1726. 8. pp. 
221-5; the catalogue there given of old stories of women is copied in Joh. Pet. 
Schmidt's Fastelabendssamlungen, Rostock (1742) 4. resp. 1752, p. 22, but here 
incorrectly ' von der Ardcn Inn ' instead of WestphaTs 'von der alten Eten Inne.' 

5 For iotr, as miolk for miolk, see Gramni. 1, 451. 482. 

4 Beda 1, 15 has Juti, which the AS. version mistakenly renders Ge/itas (the ON. 
Gautar), though at 4, 16 it more correctly gives Eotaland for Jutorum terra, am- 
ine Sax. Chron. (Ingr. p. 14) has Ioturn for Iutis, Iutnacynn for Iutorum gens. 


520 GIANTS. 

meaning of giant. 1 Possibly there was beside iotunn, also an 
ON. iotull, OHG. ezal (edax) ; 3 that would explain the present 
Norwegian term for giant : jotul, jut id, Hallager 52. Faye 7 
(see Suppl.). 3 

Our second term is likewise one that suggests the name of 
a nation. The ON. purs seems not essentially different from 
iotunn ; in Sn. 6 Ymir is called ancestor of all the hrimjmrses, in 
Sasm. 118 a all the iotnar are traced up to him. In particular 
songs or connexions the preference is given to one or the other 
appellative : thus in the enumeration of dialects in the Alvismal 
the giants are always iotnar, never bursar, and there is no 
Thursaheimr in use for Iotunheimr, Iotnaheimr; but Thrymr, 
though dwelling in Iotnaheimr, is nevertheless called bursa 
drottinn (Sasm. 70. 71) and not iotna drottinn, but he summons 
the iotnar (73 a ), and is a iotunn himself (74 a ). In Seem. 85 b 
both iotnar and hrirnbursar are summoned one after the other, 
so there must be some nice distinction between the two, which 
here I would look for in the prefix hrim : only hrirnbursar, no 
hrimiotnar, are ever met with ; of this hriinburs an explanation 
will be attempted further on. Instead of Jmrs there often occurs, 
especially at a later stage of the language, the assimilated form 
puss, particularly in the pi. Jmssar, hriinjmssar; a daemonic being 
in the later sagas is called Thusselin (Miiller's Sagab. 1, 3G7-8), 
nay, the Danish tongue has retained the assimilation in its tosse, 
clumsy giant, dolt (a folk-song has tossegrefve) * and a Norwegian 
dasmon bears the name tussel. The ON. ]mrs, like several names 
of gods, is likewise the title of a rune-letter, the same that the 
Anglo-Saxons called born (conf. ' hurs rista/ Sasm. 86 a ) : a 
notable deviation, as the AS. tongue by no means lacks the 
word; in Beow. 846 we find fiyrs, and also in the menology in 

1 Can the witch Jettha of the Palatinate (p. 96 note) be a corruption of Eta, Eza ? 
Anyhow the Jettenbiihel (Jettha; collis) reminds us of the Bavarian Jettcnberg 
(Mon. boica 2, 219, ann. 1317), and Mount Jetten in Eeinbote's Georg 1717, where 
it is misprinted Setten. Near WiUingshausen in Hesse is another Jettenberg, see 
W. Grimm On the runes, p. 271. 

1 The ruined Weissenstein, by Werda near Marburg, was ace. to popular legend 
the abode of a giant named Essel (ezzal?), and the meadow where at the fall of his 
castle he sank its golden door in the R. Lahn, is still called Esselswerd. 

3 Isidore's glosses render the Gallic name of a people ambro by devorator, which 
agrees with the OHG. transl. manezo, man-eater (Graff 1, 528), the well-known 
MHG. manezze. 

* Rr. ihp, Dan. fos, fossen, for the ON. fnrs. 


Hickes (Gramin. AS. p. 207) : ' fiyrs sceal on fenne gewunian/ 
and elsewhere pyrs, pi. hyrsas, renders the Lat. cyclops, orcus. 
The passage already given from the Cod. exon. 425, 28 has fiyrre 
with the s assimilated, as in irre for irse. And we find an 
Engl, thurst surviving in holthurst (woodsprite), conf. hobgoblin 
p. 502 [hob o' t' hurst ?] The OHG. form ought to be durs, pi. 
dursa, or dun's, gen. durises, which last does occur in a gloss for 
the Lat. Dis, Ditis (Schra. 1, 458), and another gloss more Low 
Germ, gives thuris for orcus (Fr. ogre) ; yet Notker ps. 17, 32 
spells it turs (daemonium), pi. tursa, and MHG. has turse, gen. 
tursen (Aw. 3, 179), perhaps turse, tiirsen (as in Massm. deukm. 
109 tiirsen rhymes kiirsen), and even tiirste, gen. tiirsten (MS. 2, 
205 a ) ; on the other hand, Albr. Tit. 24, 47 has f spil von einem 
diirsen' (Hahn 3254 tursen) =play of a d., from which passage we 
gather that tiirse-shows as well as wihtel-shows (p. 441n.) were 
exhibited for pastime : Ls. 3, 564 says, alluding to a well-known 
fable, ' des kunt der diirsch, und sprichet schuo ! ' the d. knows 
that, etc., where the notion of satyr and wild man (p. 482) 
predominates. The Latin poem of Wilten monastery in Tyrol, 
which relates the story of the giant Haimo, names another giant 
Thyrsis, making a proper name of the word : 

Forte habitabat in his alius truculentior oris 

Cyclops, qui dictus nomine Thyrsis erat, 
Thyrsis erat dictus, Seveldia rura colebat. 1 

The name of a place Tarsinriut, Tursenriut (Doc. of 1218-9 in 
Lang's Reg. 2, 88. 94) 2 contains our word unmistakably, and so 
to my thinking does the earlier Tuzzinwanc near Neugart, stand- 
ing for Tussiuwanc, Tursinwanc (campus gigantis), the present 
Dussnang. Nor does it seem much more hazardous to explain 
Strabo's Govave\6a (7, 1. Tzsch. 2, 328) by Thurshilda, Thuss- 
hilda, Thursinhilda, 3 though I cannot produce an ON. Thurshildr. 
In Switzerland to this day durst is the Wild Hunter (St. 1, 329), 
on the Salzburg Alp dusel is a night-spirit (Muchar's Gasteiu, 
p. 145), and in Lower Germany dros or drost is devil, dolt, giant. 1 

1 Mone's Untersuchung, pp. 288-9. 

2 Now Tirsehenreit, Tirschengereith. Schmeller's birthplace in the Up. Pala- 
tinate, Schm. 1, 458. So Tiirschenwald, Thyrsentritt, Tiirstwiukel, et .— Suppl. 

s Conf. Pharaildis, Verelde, p. 284-5; Grimild for Griniliil d. 

4 Brem. \vb. 1, 257. Richey sub v. diaus, Schiitze sub v. drost, Strodtmann sub 

522 GIANTS. 

Whether Thorsholt, TJwshoJt, the name of a place in Oldenburg 1 , 
is connected with ]?urs, I cannot tell. — In Gothic the word 
would have to be J?aurs, pi. haiirsos (or ]>aiirsis, pi. ]?aiirsj6s ? 
haiirsus, J?aiirsjus ? J?aursja, haursjans ?) ; and of these forms the 
derivation is not far to seek. The Goth. haursus means dry, 
baiirsjan to thirst, Jmiirstei thirst ; Jmirsus, haiirsis becomes in 
OHG. durri for dursi (as airzis becomes irri for irsi), while the 
noun durst (thirst) retains the s, and so does our durs (giant) 
and the ON. Jmrs by the side of the adjective ]mrr (dry). So that 
paurs, purs, durs signify either fond of wine, thirsty, or drunken, 
a meaning which makes a perfect pair with that we fished out of 
itans, iotunn. The two words for giant express an inordinate 
desire for eating and drinking, precisely what exhibits itself in 
the Homeric cyclop. Herakles too is described as edax and 
bibax, e.g. in Euripides' s Alcestis ; and the ON. giant Suttungr 
(Ssem. 23. Sn. 84) apparently stands for Suptungr (Finn Magn. 
p. 738), where we must presuppose a noun supt = sopi, a sup 
or draught. 

Now, as the Jutes, a Teutonic race, retained the name of the 
former inhabitants whom they had expelled, 1 these latter being 
the real Iotnar or Itanos ; so may the Jmrsar, dursa, in their mythic 
aspect [as giants] be connected with a distant race which at a 
very early date had migrated into Italy. I have already hinted 
(p. 25) at a possible connexion of the haiirsos with the Tvparjvoi, 
Tvpfjrjvoi, Tusci, Etrusci : the consonant-changes are the very 
thing to ' be expected, and even the assimilations and the 
transposition of the r are all found reproduced. Niebuhr makes 
Tyrrhenians distinct from Etruscans, but in my opinion wrongly ; 
as for the Ovpaos carried in the Bacchic procession, it has no claim 
to be brought in at all (see Suppl.). 

There is even a third mode of designating giants in which we 
likewise detect a national name. Lower Germany, Westphalia 
above all, uses hune in the sense of giant ; the word prevails in 
all the popular traditions of the Weser region, and extends as far 
as the Groningen country and E. Drenthe ; giants' hills, giants' 

v. droost : ' dat di de droost sla ! ' may the d. smite thee ; in the Altmark : ' det di 
de druse hal (fetch) ! ' and elsewhere ' de dros in de helle.' At the same time the 
HG. druos, truos (plague, blain) is worth considering. 

1 A case that often occurs ; thus the Bavarians, a Teutonic people, take their 
name from the Celtic Boh. [And the present Bulgarians, a Slav race, etc.] 



tombs are called hunebedde, hunebedden, bed being commonly 
used for grave, the resting-place of the dead. ' Grot as en hune' 
expresses gigantic stature. Schiiren's Teutonista couples ' rese ' 
with Jmyne. Even H. Germ, writers of the lGth-1 7th centuries, 
though seldomer, use heune; Mathesius : 'Goliath der grosse 
hcunc;' the Vocab. of 1482 spells hewne. Hans Sachs 1, 453 a 
uses heunisch (like entisch) for fierce, malignant. But the word 
goes back to MHG. too; Herbort 1381 : ' groz alsam ein hune,' 
rhym. ' mit starkem gelune ; ' Trist. 4034 : ' an geliden und an 
geliune gewahsen als ein hiune.' 1 In OHG. writings I do not find 
the word in this sense at all. But MHG. has also a Hiune (gen. 
Hiunen) signifying, without any reference to bodily size, a Hun- 
garian, in the Nibelunge a subject of Efczel or Attila (1110, 4. 
1123,4. 1271,3. 1824,3. 1829,1. 1831,1. 1832, 1), which 
in Lat. writings of the Mid. Ages is called Hunnas, more exactly 
Hunus, Chunus. To this Hiune would correspond an OHG. 
Hunio ; I have only met with the strong form Hun, pi. Huni, 
gen. Hunio, Hiineo, 2 with which many names of places are com- 
pounded, e.g. Huniofeld, a little town in Fulda bishopric, now 
Hiinfeld; also names of men, Hiinolt, Hunperht (Humprecht), Hun- 
rat, Altlmn, Folchuu, etc. The AS. Hthia cyning (Beda 1, 13) 
requires a siug. Him; but to the ON. nom. pi. Hiinar there is said 
to belong a weak sing. Huni (Gl. Edd. havn. 2, 881). It is plain 
those Huni have a sense that shifts about pretty much with time 
and place, now standing for Pannonians, then for Avars, then 
again for Vandals and Slavs, always for a nation brought into 
frequent contact with Germany by proximity and wars. The 
lliunenlant of the loth century (Nib. 1106, 3. 1122, 3) cannot 
possibly be the Eunaland which the Eddie lays regard as SigurS's 
home (Deutsche heldens. 6. 9). At the time when proper names 
like Hunrat, Hunperht first arose, there could hardly as yet be 
any thought of an actual neighbouring nation like Pannonians 
or Wends j but even in the earliest times there might circulate 
talk and tale of a primitive mythic race supposed to inhabit some 
uncertain region, much the same aslotnar and Thursar. I incline 

1 Wolfdietr. 661 has, for giaut, heme rhym. sehoene, but only in the place of the 
ancient casura, so that the older reading was most likely hiune. 

- In Hildeb. lied ' Hiineo truhtin (lord of Huns), and ' alter Hun ; ' Diut. 2, 182 
Huni (Pannonii) ; 2, 353'' Huni for Him (Hunus) ; 2, 370 Huni (Vaudali). 

524 GIANTS. 

therefore to guess, that the sense of ' giant/ which we cannot 
detect in Hun till the 13th century, must nevertheless have lain 
in it long before : it is by such double meaning that Hadubrant's 
exclamation 'alt^rHun!' first acquires significance. When 
Gotfried used hiune for giant, he must have known that Hiune 
at that time also meant a Hungarian ; and as little does the 
distinctness of the nationality rendered Himi in OHG. glosses 
exclude the simultaneous existence of a mythic meaning of the 
word. It may have been vivider or fainter in this place or that : 
thus, the ON. himar is never convertible with iotnar and )mrsar. • 
I will not touch upon the root here (conf. p. 529 note), but only 
remark that one Eddie name for the bear is linnn, Sn. 179. 222% 
and ace. toBiorn nun and hunbiom = catulus ursinus (see Suppl.). 
One AS. term for giant is ent, pi. entas : iElfred in his Orosius 
p. 48 renders Hercules gigas by f Ercol se ent.' The poets like 
to use the word, where ancient buildings and works are spoken 
of: ' enta geweorc, enta sergeweorc (early work of giants), eald 
enta geweorc/ Beow. 3356. 5431. 5554. Cod. exon. 291, 24. 
476, 2. So the adj. : 'entisc helm/ Beow. 5955 ; Lipsius's glosses 
also give eintisc avitus, what dates from the giants' days of yore. 
Our OHG. entisc antiquus does not agree with this in consonant- 
gradation [t should be z] j it may have been suggested by the 
Latin word, perhaps also by the notion of enti (end) ; another 
form is antrisc antiquus (Graff 1, 387), and I would rather asso- 
ciate it with the Eddie * inn aldni iotunn' (grandaevus gigas), Sasm. 
23 a 46 b 84 b 1 89 b . The Bavarian patois has an intensive prefix 
enz, enzio (Schmeller , 188), but this may have grown out of the 
gen. of end, ent (Schm. 1, 77) ; or may we take this ent- itself in 
the sense of monstrous, gigantic, and as an exception to the law 
of consonant-change? They say both enterisch (Schm. 1, 77) and 
enzerisch for monstrous, extraordinary. And was the Enzenberc, 
MS. 2, 10 b a giant's hill ? l and is the same root contained in 
the proper names Anzo, Enzo, Enzinchint (Pez, thes. iii. 3, 689°), 
Enzawip (Meichelb. 1233. 1305), Enzeman (Ben. 325) ? If 
Huni alluded to Wends and Slavs, we may be allowed to identify 
entas with the ancient Antes ; as for the Indians, whom Mone 

i The present Inselberg near Schmalkalden ; old docs., however, spell it Emise- 
herc, named apparently from the brook Emise, Emse, which rises on it. Later 
forms are Enzelberg, Einzelberg, Einselberg. 


(Adz. 1836, 1. 2) would bring in, they may stay outside, for in 
OHG. itself antisc, entisc (antiquus) is distinct from indisc (In- 
dicus), Graff 1, 385-G ; and see Suppl. 

The AS. poets use also the Greek, Latin, 1 and Romance appel- 
lative gigant, pi. gigantas, Beow. 225. giganta cyn 3379. gigant- 
msecg, Ca^dm. 76, 36 ; conf. Ital. Span, gigante, Prov. jayan 
(Ferab. 4232), O.Fr. gaiant (Ogier 8092. 8101), Fr. giant, Eng. 
giant; also OHG. gigant (0. iv. 12, 61), MHG. gigante die 
mdren (Diut. 3, 60), 2 M. Nethl. gigant The ON. word which is 
usually compared with this, but which wants the nt, and is only 
used of giantesses, seems to me unconnected : fem. gijgr, gen. 
gygjar, Seem. 39, Sn. 66. 68; a Swed. folk-song still has 'den 
leda gijger,' Arvidsson, 2, 302. It is wanting in the other Teut. 
dialects, but if translated into Gothic it would be giugi or giugja; 
I trace it to the root giugan, and connect it with the words quoted 
in my Gramm. 2, 50 no. 536 (see Suppl.). 

Our riese is the OHG. risi (O. iv. 12, 61) or riso (N. ps. 32, 16), 
MHG. rise, MLG. rese (En. 7096), ON. risi (the elder Edda has 
it only in Grottas. 12), Swed. rese, Dan. rise, M. Nethl. rese, rose 
(Huyd. op St. 3, 33. 306), now reus. To these would correspond 
a Gothic vrisa, as may be gathered from the OS. form wriso which 
I confidently infer from the adj. wrisilie giganteus, Hel. 42, 5. 
The Anglo-Saxons seem to have had no analogous wrisa, as they 
confine themselves to ]?yrs, gigant [and ent] . The root of vrisa 
is unknown to me j it cannot belong to reisan surgere, therefore 
the OHG. riso does not mean elatus, superbus, excelsus. 3 

Again, lubbe, liibbe seems in parts of Lower Saxony to mean 

1 Strange that the Latin language has no word of its own for giant, hut must 
horrow the Greek gigas, titan, cyclops ; yet Italy has indigenous folk-tales of Cam- 
panian giants. 

- The Biblical view adopted in the Mid. Ages traced the giants to Cam, or at least 
to mixture with his family : ' gig antes, quales propter iracundiam Dei per tilios Beth 
de filialus Cain narrat scriptura procreatos,' Pertz 2, 755. For in Genesis 6, 4 it 
is said : ' gigantes autem erant super tcrram in diebus illis ; postquam enim ingressi 
sunt filii Dei ad filias hominum, illreque genuerunt, isti sunt potentes a seculo viri 
famosi.' The same view appears in Caedni. 76. 77 ; in Beow. 213Grendel's descent 
is derived from Caines cynne, on whom God avenged the murder of Abel : thence 
sprang all the umtydrai (neg. of tudor proles, therefore misbirths, evil brood |. eotenat, 
ylfe, orcneaa and gigantas that war against God. This partly tits in with some 
heathen notions of cosmogony. 

a Mone in Anz. 8, 183, takes wrise toxfrise, and makes Frisians and Persians out 
of it. [What of ' writhe, wris-t, wrest, wrestle,' (as wit, wis-t becomes wise) ? Or 
Slav, vred-iti, to hurt, AS. wretfe? A Euss. word for giant is verzilo, supposed to 
be from verg-;iti, to throw.] 

526 GIANTS. 

unwieldy giant, lubben-stones are shown on the Corneliusbei'g 
near Helmstadt, and lubbe ace. to the Brem. wb. 3, 92 means a 
slow clumsy fellow; it is the Engl, lubber, lobber, and Michel 
Beham's liipel (Mone's Anz. 1835, 450 b ), conf. ON. lubbi (hir- 
sutus). To this add a remarkable document by Bp. Gebhard of 
Halberstadt, bewailing as late as 1462 the heathenish worship of 
a being whom men named den guden lubben, to whom they offered 
bones of animals on a hill by Schochwitz in the county of Mans- 
feld. Not only have such ancient bone-heaps been discovered on 
the Lujpberg there (conf. the Augsburg perleich, p. 294), but in 
the church of the neighbouring Miillersdorf an idol image let into 
the wall, which tradition says was brought there from the Lup- 
berg (see Suppl.). 1 

The ON. has several words for giantess, beside the gygr men- 
tioned above: skass, neut., Seem. 144 b 154 b , and skessa, fern. ; 
grid')- f., mella f . ; gifr f., Seem. 143 b , Norweg. jyvri (Hallag. 53) 
or gijvri, gurri, djurre (Faye 7. 9. 10. 12). This gifr seems to 
mean saucy, defiant, greedy. 

Troll neut., gen. trolls (Sasm. 6 a ), Swed. troll, Dan. trold, 
though often used of giants, is yet a more comprehensive term, 
including other spirits and beings possessed of magic power, and 
equivalent to our monster, spectre, unearthly being. By trold 
the Danish folk-tales habitually understand beings of the elf kind. 
The form suggests a Gothic trallu ; does our getralle in Renner 
1365, 'der gebure ein getralle/ rhyni. f alle/ mean the same 
thing ? (see Suppl.). 

Giant is in Lith. milzinas, milzinis, Lett, milsis , milsenis ; but 
it would be overbold to connect with it German names of places, 
Milize (Trad. fuld. 2, 40), Milsenburg, Melsungen. The Slovak 
obor, Boh. obr, 0. Pol. obrzym, 2 Pol. olbrzym, is unknown to the 
South Slavs, and seems to be simply Avarus, Abarus. Nestor 
calls the Avars Obri (ed. Schlozer 2, 112-7). The ' Grascus 
Avar ' again in the legend of Zisa (p. 292-5) is a giant. Now, 

1 Neue mitth. des thiir. sacks, vereins 3, 130-6. 5, 2. 110-132. 6, 37-8. The 
picture, however, contains nothing giant-like, but rather a goddess standing on a 
wolf. Yet I remark, that a giant's tomb on Mt. Blanc is called ' la tombe du bon 
homme, de la bonne femme,' an expression associated with the idea of a sacred vene- 
rated man (supra, p. 89). Conf. also godgubbe used of Thorr, p. 167, and godmor, 
p. 430. 

2 Psalter of queen Margareta, Vienna 1834, p.l7 b : obrzim, the -im as in oyczim, 

GIANTS. 527 

as the Avari in the Mid. Ages are = Chuni, the words hun and 
obor alike spring out of the national names Hun aud Avar. 1 To 
the Slavs, Tchud signifies both Finn and giant, and the Russ. 
ispolin (giant) might originally refer to the 'gens Spalorum' of 
Jornandes; conf. Schafarik 1, 286. 310. So closely do the 
names for giant agree with those of ancient nations : popular 
belief magnified hostile warlike neighbours into giants, as it 
diminished the weak and oppressed into dwarfs. The Sanskrit 
rdhshasas can have nothing to do with our riese, nor with the 
OHG. recchio, MHG. recke, a designation of human heroes (see 

We find plenty of proper names both of giants and giantesses 
preserved in ON"., some apparently significant; thus Hrungnir 
suggests the Gothic hrugga (virga, rod, pole) and our runge 
(Brem. wb. 3, 558) ; Herbort 1385 : ' groz alsam ein runge.' Our 
MHG. poems like giant's names to end in -olt, as Witolt, Fasolt, 
Memerolt, etc. 

A great stature, towering far above any human size, is ascribed 
to all giants : stiff, unwieldy, they stand like hills, like tall trees. 
According to the Mod. Greeks, they were as tall as poplars, and 
if once they fell, they could not get up again [like Humpty 
Dumpty]. The one eye of the Greek cyclops I nowhere find 
imputed to our giants ; but like them 2 and the ancient gods, 
(p. 322), they are often provided with many hands and heads. 
When this attribute is given to heroes, gigantic ones are meant, 
as Heimo, StarkaSr, Asperian (p. 387). But Saem. 85 b expressly 
calls a ]mrs prihofdudr, exactly as the MHG. Wahtelmasre names 
a drihouptigen tursen (Massm. denkm. 109) : a remarkable in- 
stance of agreement. In Seem. 35 a appears a giant's son with 
six heads, in 56 a the many-headed band of giants is spoken of, 
and in 53 a giantess with 900 heads. Brana's father has three 
(invisible) heads, Fornald. sog. 3, 574, where also it is said : ' J?a 

1 Schafarik explains obor by the Celtic ambro above (p. 520n.) ; but in that case 
the Polish would have been abr. 

2 Briareus or ^Egaion has a hundred arms (<fKaTu7x«P 0S > II. 1, 402) and fifty 
heads, Geryon three heads and six hands; in Hesiod's Theog. 150, Kottus, Gygea 
and Briareus have one hundred arms and fifty heads. The giant in the Hebrew 
story has only an additional finger or toe given to each hand aud foot : vir nut 
excelsus, qui senos in manibus pedibusque habebat digitos, i.e. viginti (juatuor 
(instead of the human twenty), 2 Sam. 21, 20. Bertheau's Israel, p. 113. O. Fr. 
poems give the Saracen giant four anus, two uoses, two chins, Ogier 'JH17. 

528 GIANTS. 

fell margr (many a) twhof&a&r iotunn.' Trolds with 12 heads, 
then with 5, 10, 15 occur in Norske event, nos. 3 and 24. In 
Scotland too the story ' of the reyde eyttyn with the thre heydis ' 
was known (Complaynt, p. 98), and Lindsay's Dreme (ed. 1592, 
p. 225) mentions the ' history of reid etin.' The fairy-tale of 
Red etin wi' three heads may now be read complete in Chambers, 1 
pp. 56-58; but it does not explain whether the red colour in his 
name refers to skin, hair or dress. A black complexion is not 
attributed to giants, as it is to dwarfs (p. 444) and the devil, 
though the half-black Hel (p. 312) was of giant kin. Hrungnir, 
a giant in the Edda, has a head of stone (Seem. 76 b , Sn. 109), 
another in the Fornald. sog. 3, 573 is called larnhaus, iron skull. 
But giants as a rule appear well-shaped and symmetrical ; their 
daughters are capable of the highest beauty, e.g. GeroV, whose 
gleaming arms, as she shuts the house-door, make air and water 
shine again, Seem. 82 a , Sn. 39 (see Suppl.). 

In the giants as a whole, an untamed natm^al force has full 
swing, entailing their excessive bodily size, their overbearing in- 
solence, that is to say, abuse of corporal and mental power, and 
finally sinking under its own weight. Hence the iotunn in the 
Edda is called slcrautgiarn (fastosus), Sasm. 1 1 7 b ; sa inn amattki 
(praspotens) 41 b 82 h ; storMgi (magnanimus) 76 b ; firungmo&gi 
(superbus) 77 a ; hardracTr (saavus) 54 a ; our derivation of the 
words iotunn and ]?urs finds itself confirmed in poetic epithet and 
graphic touch : Tcostmodr iotunn (cibo gravatus), Seem. 56 b ; ' blr 
(ebrius) ertu GeirroSr, hefir ]ni ofdruccit (overdrunk)' 47 a (see 

From this it is an easy step, to impute to the giants a stupidity 
contrasting with man's common sense and the shrewdness of the 
dwarf. The ON. has ' ginna alia sem pussa ' (decipere omnes 
sicut thursos), Nialssaga p. 263. Du?nm in our old speech was 
mutus as well as hebes, and dumbr in ON. actually stands for 
gigas; to which dumbi (dat.) the adj. fiumbi (hebes, inconcinnus) 
seems nearly related. A remarkable spell of the 11th cent, runs 
thus : ' tumbo saz in berke mit tumbemo kinde in arme, tumb hiez 
der berc, tumb hiez daz kint, der heilego tumbo versegene tisa 
wunda ! ' i.e. dummy sat on hill with d. child in arm, d. was 

i Popular rhymes, fireside stories, and amusements of Scotland, Edinb. 1S42. 

GIANTS. 529 

called the hill and d. the child, the holy d. bless this wound away 
[the posture is that of Humpty Dumpty] . This seems pointed 
at a sluo-o-ish mountain-giant, and we shall sec how folk-tales of 

DO O * 

a later period name the giants dnmme dutten ; the term lubbe, 
lilbbe likewise indicates their clumsy lubberly nature, and when 
we nowadays call the devil durum (stupid), a quondam giant is 
really meant (see Suppl.). 1 

Yet the Norse lays contain one feature favourable to the giants. 
They stand as specimens of a fallen or falling race, which 
with the strength combines also the innocence and wisdom of 
the old world, an intelligence more objective and imparted at 
creation than self-acquired. This half- regretful view of giants 
prevails particularly in one of the finest poems of the Edda, 
the HymisqvrSa. Hymir 2 is called fom iotunn (the old) 54% as 
YloXvcpafios in Theocr. 11,9 is apxaios, and another giant, from 
whom gods are descended, has actually the proper name Forniotr, 
Forneot (p. 240), agreeing with the ' aid inn iotunn ' quoted on 
p. 524; then we have the epithet hundviss (multiscius) applied 
52 b , as elsewhere to Lo-Sinn (Stem. 145 a ), to GeirroSr (Sn. 113), 
and to StarkaSr (Fornald. sog. 3, 15. 32). 3 Oegir is called 
fiolkunnigr (much-knowing), Saem. 79, and bamteitr (happy as a 
child) 52 a ; while Thrymr sits fastening golden collars on his 
hounds, and stroking his horses' manes, Sasm. 70 b . And also the 
faithfulness of giants is renowned, like that of the men of old : 
trolltryggr (fidus instar gigantis), Egilss. p. 610, and in the Faroe 
dialect ' trilr sum trddlir,' true as giants (Lyngbye, p. 496). 4 
Another lay is founded on the conversation that OSinn himself 
is anxious to hold with a giant of great sense on matters of 
antiquity (a fornom stcifum) : Vaf]>ru8nir again is called ' inn 
alsvinni iotunn/ 30 a 35 b ; Orgelmir and Bergelmir 'sa inn fr 6 (K 

1 The familiar fable of the devil being taken in by a peasant in halving the crop 
between them, is in the Danish myth related of a trold (Thiele 4, 122), see Chap. 

■ ON. hum is crepusculum, hfima vesperascere, hyma dormiturire ; is Hymir the 
sluggish, sleepy? OHG. Hiumi? Mow if tin- MUG. hiune came from an OHG. 
hiumi? An m is often attenuated into n, as OHG. sliumi, sniumi (celer), MHG. 
sliune, sliunic, our schleunig. That would explain why there is no trace of the 
word hiune in ON. ; it would also be fatal to any real connexion with the national 
name Hun. 

3 Hund (centum) intensi6es the meaning : hundmargr (pcrmultus), hundgamall 
(old as the hills). 

4 We find the same faithfulness in the giant of Christian legend, St. Christopher, 
and in that of Carolingian legend, Ferabras. 

530 GIANTS. 

iotunn/ Seem. 35 a,b ; Fenja and Menja are framvisar (Grottas. 1, 
13). When the verb }>reya, usually meaning exspectare, desi- 
derare, is employed as characteristic of giants (Seem. 88 a ), it 
seems to imply a dreamy brooding, a half-drunken complacency 
and immobility (see Suppl.). 

Such a being, when at rest, is good-humoured and unhandy, 1 
but when provoked, gets wild, spiteful and violent. Norse legend 
names this rage of giants i'dtunmodr, which pits itself in defiance 
against asmoSr, the rage of the gods : f vera i iotunmoSi/ Sn. 
150 b . When their wrath is kindled, the giants hurl rocks, rub 
stones till they catch fire (Roth. 1048), squeeze water out of 
stones (Kinderm. no. 20. Asbiornsen's Moe, no. 6), root up 
trees (Kinderm. no. 90), twist fir-trees together like willows (no. 
1G6), and stamp on the ground till their leg is buried up to the 
knee (Roth. 913. Yilk. saga, cap. 60) : in this plight they are 
chained up by the heroes in whose service they are to be, and 
only let loose against the enemy in war, e.g. Witolt or Witolf 
(Roth. 760. Vilk. saga, cap. 50). One Norse giant, whose story 
we know but imperfectly, was named Beli (the bellower) ; him 
Freyr struck dead with his fist for want of his sword, and thence 
bore the name of ' bani Belja/ Sn. 41. 71. 

Their relation to gods and men is by turns friendly and hostile. 
Iotunheimr lies far from Asaheimr, yet visits are paid on both 
sides. It is in this connexion that they sometimes leave on us 
the impression of older nature-gods, who had to give way to a 
younger and superior race ; it is only natural therefore, that in 
certain giants, like Ecke and Fasolt, we should recognise a pre- 
cipitate of deity. At other times a rebellious spirit breaks forth, 
they make war upon the gods, like the heaven- scaling Titans, 
and the gods hurl them down like devils into hell. Yet there 
are some gods married to giantesses : Niorftr to Ska^i the 
daughter of Thiassi, Thorr to Iarnsaxa, Freyr to the beautiful 
GerSr, daughter of Gymir. GunnloS a giantess is OSin's be- 
loved. The asin Gefiun bears sons to a giant; Borr weds the 
giant Botyorn's daughter Bestla. Loki, who lives among the 
ases, is son to a giant Farbauti, and a giantess AngrbotSa is his 

1 Unformed, irtconcirmus ; MHG. ungeviiege, applied to giants, Nib. 450, 1. 
Iw. 444. £051. 6717. der ungeviiege knabe, Er. 5552; ' knabe,' as in ' der michel 
kuabe,' p. 518n. 

GIANTS. 531 

..ife. The gods associate with Oegir the iotunn, and by him 
are bidden to a banquet. Giants again sue for asins, as Thryrar 
for Freyja, while Thiassi carries off ISunn. Hrilngnir asks for 
Freyja or Sif, Sn. 107. Starkaftr is henchman to Norse kings; 
in Rother's army fight the giants Asperian (Asbiorn, Osbern) and 
Witolt. Among the ases the great foe of giants is Tliorr, who 
like Jupiter inflicts on them his thunder- wounds ; 1 his hammer 
has crushed the heads of many : were it not for Thorr, says a 
Scandinavian proverb, the giants would get the upper hand ; 2 he 
vanquished Hriingnir, Hymir, Thrymr, GeirroSr, and it is not all 
the legends by any means that are set down in the Edda (see 
Suppl.). St. Olaf too keeps up a hot pursuit of the giant race ; 
in this business heathen and Christian heroes are at one. In our 
heroic legend Sigenot, Ecke, Fasolt succumb to Dietrich's human 
strength, yet other giants are companions of Dietrich, notably 
Wittich and Heime, as Asperian was Rother's. The kings 
Niblunc and Schilbunc had twelve strong giants for friends 
(Nib. 95), i.e. for vassals, as the Norse kings often had twelve 
berserks. But, like the primal woods and monstrous beasts of 
the olden time, the giants do get gradually extirpated off the 
face of the earth, and with all heroes giant-fighting alternates 
with dragon-fighting. 3 

King FroSi had two captive giant-maidens Fenja and Menja as 
mill-maids ; the grist they had to grind him out of the quern 
Grotti was gold and peace, and he allowed them no longer time 
for sleep or rest than while the gowk (cuckoo) held his peace or 
they sang a song. We have a startling proof of the former pre- 
valence of this myth in Germany also, and I find it in the bare 
proper names. Managold, Manigold frequently occurs as a man's 
name, and is to be explained from mani, ON. men = monile ; 
more rarely we find Fanigold, Fenegold, from fani, ON. fen = 
palus, meaning the gold that lies hidden in the fen. One Trad, 
patav. of the first half of the twelfth cent. (MB. 28 b , pp. 90-1) 

i The skeleton of a giantess struck by lightning, hung up in a sacristy, see Wide- 
gren's Ostergdtland 4, 527. 

2 Swed. ' vore ej thorddn (Thor-din, thunder) till, lade troll verlden ode.' 
s In British legend too (seldomer in Caroliugian) the heroes are indefatigable 
giant-quellers. If the nursery-tale of Jack the giantkiller did not appear to be of 
Welsh origin, that hero's deeds might remind us of Tliur's; he is equipped with 
a cap of darkness, shoes of swiftness, and a sword that cuts through anything, as 
the god is with the resistless hammer. 

532 GIANTS. 

furnishes both names Manegolt and Fenegolt ouc of the same 
neighbourhood. We may conclude that once the Bavarians well 
knew how it stood with the fanigold and nianigold ground out by 
Fania and Mania (see Suppl.). 

Yrnir, or in giant's language Orgelmir, was the first-created, 
and out of his body's enormous bulk were afterwards engendered 
earth, water, mountain and wood. Ymir himself originated in 
melted hoarfrost or rime (hrim), hence all the giants are called 
hrimpursar, rime-giants, Sn. 6. Sasin. 85 a ' b ; hrimkaldr, rime- 
cold, is an epithet of p»urs and iotunn, Saem. 33 b 90 a , they still 
drip with thawing rime, their beards (kinnskogr, chin-forest) are 
frozen, Seem. 53 b ; Hrimnir, Hiimgrimr, Hrimgercfr are proper 
names of giants, Seem. 85 a 86 a 114. 145. As hrim also means 
grime, fuligo, Ymir may perhaps be connected with the obscure 
MHG. om, ome (rubigo), see Gramm. 3, 733. At the same time 
the derivation from ymja, umSi (stridere) lies invitingly near, so 
that Ymir would be the blustering, noisy, and one explanation of 
Orgelmir would agree with this ; conf. chap. XIX. (see Suppl.). 

Herbs and heavenly bodies are named after giants as well 
as after gods : fiursaskegg, i.e. giant's beard (fucus filiformis) ; 
Norw. tussegras (paris quadrifolia) ; Bronugras (satyrium, the 
same as Friggjargras, p. 302), because a giantess Brana gave it 
as a charm to her client Half dan (Fornald. sog. 3, 576) ; Forneotes 
folme, p. 240 ; OSinn threw Thiassi's eyes, and Thorr OrvandiVs 
toe, into the sky, to be shining constellations, Sn. 82-3. 111. 

Giants, like dwarfs, shew themselves thievish. Two lays of the 
Edda turn upon the recovery of a hammer and a cauldron which 
they had stolen. 

The giants form a separate people, which no doubt split into 
branches again, conf. Rask's Afhand. 1, 88. Thrymr is called 
Jjursa drottinn, Saem. 70-74, a Jrwrsa JjiocF (nation) is spoken of, 
107 a , but iotunheimr is described as their usual residence. Even 
our poem of Bother 767 speaks of a riesenlant. On the borders 
of the giant province were situate the griottuna gar&ar, Sn. 108-9. 
We have already noticed how most of the words for giant coin- 
cide with the names of ancient nations. 

Giants were imagined dwelling on rocks and mountains, and 
their nature is all of a piece with the mineral kingdom : they are 
either animated masses of stone, or creatures once alive petrified. 

GIANTS. 533 

Hrungnir had a three-cornered stone heart, his head and shield 
were of stone, Sn. 109. Another giant was named Vagnhoffri 
(waggon-head), Sn. 211 a , in Saxo Gram. 9. 10. Dame Hiltt is a 
petrified queen of giants, Deut. sag. no. 233. 

Out of this connexion with mountains arises another set of 
names: bergrisi, Sn. 18. 26. 30. 45-7. 66. Grdttas. 10. 21. 
Egilss. 22 j 1 bergbui, Fornald. sog. 1, 412; hraunbiii (saxicola), 
Sasm. 57 b 145 a ; hraunhvalr (-whale) 57 b ; Jjwssin af biargi, Fornald. 
sog. 2, 29 ; bergdanir (gigantes), Sasm. 54 b ; bergrisa brudr (bride), 
mcer bergrisa, Grottas. 10. 24, conf. the Gr. bpeuis : on this side 
the notion of giantess can easily pass into that of elfin. Thryni- 
heimr lies up in the mountains, Sn. 27. It is not to be over- 
looked, that in our own Heldenbuch Dietrich reviles the giants 
as mountain-cattle and forest-boors, conf. bercrinder, Laurin 2625, 
and waltgeburen 534. 2624. Sigenot 97. walthunde, Sigenot 13. 
114. waldes diebe (thieves), 120. waldes tore (fool), waldes 
affe (ape), Wolfd. 467. 991 (see p. 481-2 and Suppl.). 

Proper names of giants point to stones and metals, as Iamsaxa 
(ironstony), Tamhaus (ironskull) ; possibly our still surviving 
compound steinalt, old as stone (Gramm. 2, 555), is to be ex- 
plained by the great age of giants, approaching that of rocks and 
hills ; gifur rata (gigantes pedes illidunt saxis) is what they say 
in the North. 

Stones and rocks are weapons of the giant race j they use only 
stone clubs and stone shields, no swords. Hriingni's weapon is 
called hem (hone) ; when it was flung in mid air and came in 
collision with Thor's hammer, it broke, and a part fell on the 
ground; hence come all the ' heinberg/ whinstone rocks, Sn. 
108-9. Later legends add to their armament stahelstangen (steel 
bars) 24 yards long, Roth. 687. 1662. Hurn. Sifr. 62, 2. 68, 2. 
Sigenot (Lassb.) 14, (Hag.) 69. 75. Iwein 5022 {-mote, rod 
5058. -Me, club 6682. 6726). Trist. 15980. 16146; isenstange, 
Nib. 460, 1. Veldek invests his Pandurus and Bitias (taken from 
Aen. 9, 672) with giant's nature and iserne kolven, En. 7089 ; 
king Gorhand's giant host carry holben stahelin, Wh. 35, 21. 
395, 24. 396, 13; and giant Langben a staahtang (Danske 
viser 1, 29). We are expressly told in Er. 5384, ' wafens waren 

1 In the case of mixed descent: Mlf bergrisi, h&lfrwi, h&lftroll, Egilss. p. 22. 

Nialss. ]). 164 ; see Grauiui. 2, G33. 

534 GIANTS. 

si bloz/ i.e. bare of knightly weapon, for they carried f kolben 
swsere, groze uncle lange.' l Yet the f eald siveord eotonisc' pro- 
bably meant one of stone, though the same expression is used 
in Beow. 5953 of a metal sword mounted with gold ; even the 
f entisc helm/ Beow. 5955 may well be a stone helmet. It may 
be a part of the same thing, that no iron sword will cut into 
giants ; only with the pommel of the sword can they be killed 
(Ecke 178), or with the fist, p. 530 (see Suppl.). 

Ancient buildings of singular structure, which have outlasted 
many centuries, and such as the men of to-day no longer take in 
hand, are vulgarly ascribed to giants or to the devil (conf. p. 85, 
note on devil's dikes) : ' burg an berge, ho holrnklibu, wrisilic 
giwerc' is said in Hel. 42, 5 of a castle on a rock (risonburg, 
N. Bth. 173) ; a Wrisberg, from which a Low Saxon family takes 
its name, stood near the village of Petze. These are the enta 
geweorc of AS. poetry (p. 524): 'efne swa wide swa wegas to 
lagon enta cergeweorc innan burgum, stnete stanfdge/ Andr. 2466. 
' stapulas storme bedrifene, eald enta geweorc/ 2986. Our Anno- 
lied 151 of Semiramis : ' die alten Babilouie stiphti si van cigelin 
den alten, die die gigandi branten,' of bricks that giants burnt. 
And Karlmeinet 35 : 'we dise burg stichte? ein rise in den alten 
ziden.' In 0. French poems it is either gaiant or paian (pagans) 
that build walls and towers, e.g. in Gerars de Viane 1745 : 

Les fors tors, ke sont dantiquitey, 
ke paian firent par lor grant poestey. 

Conf. Mone's Unters. 242-4-7. 250. Whatever was put together 
of enormous blocks the Hellenes named cyclopean walls, while the 
modern Greeks regard the Hellenes themselves as giants of the 
old world, and give them the credit of those massive structures. 2 
Then, as ancient military roads were constructed of great blocks 
of stone (strata felison gifuogid, Hel. 164, 27), they also were 
laid to the account of giants : iotna vegar (vise gigantum), Sasm. 
23 b ; ' usque ad giganteam viam : entisken wee/ MB. 4, 22 (about 
1130). The common people in Bavaria and Salzburg call such 
a road, which to them is world-old and uncanny, enterisch (Schm. 

i Goliath too, 1 Sam. 17, 7, and 2 3am. 21, 19 is credited with a hastile (spear- 
staff) quasi liciatorium texentiurn (like a weaver's beam). 

2 Conf. Niebuhr's Rom. Hist. i. 192-3. An ancient wall is in Mod. Greek rb 
£\\t)vik6, Ulrich's Eeise 1, 182. 

GIANTS. 535; 

1, 1 1) j the trbllaskeid was mentioned p. 508-9, and trollahlad' is 
septum gigantum. Some passages in Fergiit are worthy of 
notice ; at ]576 : 

Die roke was swert ende eiselike, 

want wilen er en gig ant, 

hie hieu hare ane enen cant 

en padelkin tote in den top, 

daer en mach ghen paert op, 

en man mochter opgaen te voet. 
And at 1C28 seq. is described the brazen statue of a dorper, 1 
standing outside the porch of a door : 

het dede maken en gig ant, 

die daer wilen woende int lant (see Suppl.). 

Giant's-morintains, giant' s-MUs, hiinen-beds may be so named 
because popular legend places a giant's grave there, or sees in 
the rock a resemblance to the giant's shape, or supposes the 
giant to have brought the mountain or hill to where it stands. 

We have just had an instance of the last kind : the Edda 
accounts for all the hein-rocks by portions of a giant's club having 
dropt to the ground, which club was made of smooth whinstone. 
There is a pleasing variety about these folk-tales, which to my 
thinking is worth closer study, for it brings the living conception 
of giant existence clearly before us. One story current in the 
I. of Hven makes Grimild and Hvenild two giant sisters living 
in Zealand. Hvenild wants to carry some slices of Zealand to 
Schonen on the Swedish side ; she gets over safely with a few 
that she has taken in her apron, but the next time she carries off 
too large a piece, her apron-string breaks in the middle of the 
sea, she drops the whole of her load, and that is how the Isle of 
Hven came to be (Sjoborg's Nomenkl. p. 84). Almost the same 
story is told in Jutland of the origin of the little isle of 
Worsoekalv (Thiele 3, G6). Pomeranian traditions present dif- 
ferences in detail : a giant in the Isle of Eiigen grudges having 
to wade through the sea every time to Pomerania; he will build 
a causeway across to the mainland, so, tying an apron round him, 
he fills it with earth. When he has got past Rodenkirchen wit! 

1 This dorper gr6t again we are tempted to take for the old thundergod, for it 
says : ' hi hilt van stale (of steel) enen hamer in sine hant.' 

VOL. II. n 

536 GIANTS. 

his load, his apron springs a leak, and the earth that drops out 
becomes the nine hills near Eambin. He darns the hole, and 
goes further. Arrived at Gustow, he bursts another hole, and 
spills thirteen little hills ; he reaches the sea with the earth that 
is left, and shoots it in, making Prosnitz Hook and the peninsula 
of Drigge. But there still remains a narrow space between 
Eiigen and Pomerania, which so exasperates the giant that he 
is struck with apoplexy and dies, and his dam has never been 
completed (E. M. Arndt's Marchen 1, 156). Just the other way, 
a giant girl of Pomerania wants to make a bridge to Riigen, ' so 
that I can step across the bit of water without wetting my bits 
of slippers/ She hurries down to the shore with an apronful of 
sand ; but the apron had a hole in it, a part of her freight ran 
out Mother side of Sagard, forming a little hill named Dubber- 
worth. ' Dear me ! mother will scold/ said the hiine maiden, but 
kept her hand under, and ran all she could. Her mother looked 
over the wood : ' Naughty child, what are you after ? come, and 
you shall have the stick/ The daughter was so frightened she let 
the apron slip out of her hands, the sand was all spilt about, and 
formed the barren hills by Litzow. 1 Near Vi in Kallasocken lies 
a huge stone named Zechiel's stone after a giantess or merwoman. 
She lived at Edha castle in Hogbysocken, and her sister near the 
Skaggentis (shag-ness) in Smaland. They both wished to build 
a bridge over the Sound; the Smaland giantess had brought 
Skaggenas above a mile into the sea, and Zechiel had gathered 
stones in her apron, when a man shot at her with his shafts, so 
that she had to sit down exhausted on a rock, which still bears 
the impress of her form. But she got up again, and went as far 
as Pesnassocken, when Thor began to thunder (da hafver gogubben 
begynt at aka) ; she was in such a fright that she fell dead, 
scattering the load of stones out of her apron higgledy-piggledy 
on the ground ; hence come the big masses of rock there of two 
or three men's height. Her kindred had her buried by the side 
of these rocks (Aklqvist's Olaud, 2, 98-9). These giants' dread 
of Thor is so great, that when they hear it thunder, they hide 
in clefts of rocks and under trees : a hbgbergsgubbe in Gothland, 

i Lothar's Volhssagen, Leipz. 1825, p. 65. Temme's Pomm. sagen, nos. 190-1 ; 
see Barthold's Poinniern 1, 580, who spells Dobbtrwort, and explains it by the Pol. 
wor (sack). 

GIANTS. 537 

whom a peasant, to keep hini friendly, had invited to a christen- 
ing, refused, much as he would have liked to share in the feast, 
because he leaimt from the messenger that not only Christ, Peter 
and Mary, but Thor also would be there ; he would not face him 
(Xyerup's Morskabsliisning, p. 243). A giant in Fladsoe was on 
bad terms with one that lived at Nestved. He took his wallet to 
the beach and filled it with sand, intending to bury all Nestved. 
On the way the sand ran out through a hole in the sack, giving 
rise to the string of sandbanks between Fladsoe and Nestved. 
Not till he came to the spot where Husvald then stood, did the 
giant notice that the greater part was spilt; in a rage he flung 
the remainder toward Nestved, where you may still see one sand- 
bank by itself (Thiele 1, 79). At Sonnerup lived another giant, 
Lars Krands by name, whom a farmer of that place had offended. 
He went to the shore, filled his glove with sand, took it to the 
farmer's and emptied it, so that the farmhouse and yard were 
completely covered ; what had run through the jive finger holes of 
the glove made five hills (Thiele 1, 33). In the Netherlands the 
hill of Hillegersberg is produced by the sand which a giantess 
lets fall through een schortehleed (Westendorp's Mythol. p. 187). 
— And these tales are not only spread through the Teutonic 
race, but are in vogue with Finns and Celts and Greeks. Near 
Pajiindo in Hattulasocken of Tawastoland there stand some rocks 
which are said to have been carried by giant's daughters in their 
aprons and then tossed up (Ganander's Finn. myth. pp. 29. 30). 
French traditions put the holy Virgin or fays (p. 4 13) in the place 
of giantesses. Notre dame de Clery, being ill at ease in the 
church of Mezieres, determined to change the seat of her adora- 
tion, took earth in her apron and carried it to a neighbouring 
height, pursued by Judas : then, to elude the enemy, she took 
a part of tlce earth up again, which she deposited at another place 
not far off: oratories were reared on both sites (Mem. de l'acad. 
celt. 2, 218). In the Charente country, arrond. Cognac, comm. 
Saintfront, a huge stone lies by the Ney rivulet ; this the holy 
Virgin is said to have carried on her head, beside four other 
pillars in her apron ; but as she was crossing the Ney, she 1 1 one 
pillar fait into Saintfront marsh (Mem. des antiquaires 7, 31). 
According to a Greek legend, Athena was fetching a mountaiu 
from Pallene to fortify the Acropolis,, but, startled at the ill news 

538 GIANTS. 

brought by a crow, she dropt it on the way, and there it remains 
as Mount Lykabettos. 1 As the Lord God passed over the 
earth scattering stones, his bags burst over Montenegro, and the 
whole stock came down (Vuk. 5). 

Like the goddess, like the giants, the devil takes such burdens 
upon him. In Upper Hesse I was told as follows : between 
Gossfelden and Wetter there was once a village that has now 
disappeared, Elbringhausen ; the farmers in it lived so luxuriously 
that the devil got power over them, and resolved to shift them 
from their good soil to a sandy flat which is flooded every year 
by the overflowing Lahn. So he took the village up in his 
basket, and carried it through the air to where Sarenau stands : 
he began picking out the houses one by one, and setting them 
up side by side ; by some accident the basket tipped over, and the 
whole lot tumbled pellmell on the ground ; so it came about, that 
the first six houses at Sarenau stand in a straight row, and all 
the others anyhow. Near Saalfeld in Thuringia lies a village, 
Langenschade, numbering but 54 houses, and yet a couple of 
miles long, because they stand scattered and in single file. The 
devil flew through the air, carrying houses in an apron, but a 
hole in it let the houses drop out one by one. On looking back, 
he noticed it and cried ' there's a pity (schade) ! ' (see Suppl.) . 

The pretty fable of the giant's daughter picking up the plough- 
ing husbandman and taking him home to her father in her apron 
is widely known, but is best told in the Alsace legend of Nideck 
castle : 

Im waldschloss dort am wasserfall In forest-castle by waterfall 

sinn d'ritter rise gsinn (gewesen) ; the barons there were giants ; 

;i mol (einmal) kurnrnt's friiule hrab ins once the maiden comes down into the 

thai, dale, 

unn geht spaziere drinn. and goes a-walking therein, 

sie thut bis scbier noch Haslach gehn, She doth as far as Haslach go ; 

vorm wald im ackerfeld outside the wood, in the cornfield 

do blibt sie voll verwundrung stehn she stands still, full of wonder, 

unn sieht, wie's feld wurd bestellt. and sees how the field gets tilled, 

sie liiegt dem ding a wil so zu ; She looks at the thing a while, 

der pflid, die ros, die liitt the plough, the horses, the men 

ischer ebs (ist ihr etwas) neus ; sie geht are new to her ; she goes thereto 


1 Antigoni Carystii hist, mirab. cap. 12, Lips. 1791 p. 22 : ttj 8e 'Adrjva, cpepovay 
rb 6pos, 6 vvv KaKelrai. AvKa^rrbs, Kopwv-qv <py\a\v i.iravrr\aai koX elTreiv, oti 'Fipcxdivioi 
ev (pavepip ' Tr\v Se aKovaaaav ptij/ai to 8pos, bnov vvf icrrf rr\ Zl Kopuvrj oia ttjv Kanay- 
7e\:'ai' direlv, ws eh d.KpoiroXu' ov avry eurai dcpifciadai. 



unn denkt ' die nirnni i mit.' 

D'rno huurt sie an de bode Lin 

unn spreit ihrfiirti uss, 

fangt allea mit der hand, thut's 'niin, 

unn lauft gar frok nock has. 

sie springt de felswei 'nuf ganz frisch, 

dort wo der berg jetzt isck so gab. 

unn me (man) so krattle mus in d'kok, 

macht sie nur eine schritt. 

Der ritter sitzt just noch am tisch : 

1 min kind, was bringste mit ? 

d' freud liiegt der zu de auge 'nuss ; 

se kroni nur geschwind din fiirti uss ; 

was hest so zawelichs drin ? ' 

' o vatter, spieldings gar ze nett, 

i ha noch nie ebs schons so g'hett,' 

unn stelltem (ikm) alles kin. 

Unn uf de tisck stellt sie den pflui, 

(V bare unn ikri ros, 

lauft drum kerum unn lackt derzu, 

ikr freud isck gar ze gross. 

' Ja, kind, diss isck ken spieldings nitt, 

do kest ebs sckons gemackt ' 

sakt der kerr ritter glick und lackt, 

' gek nimm's nur widder mit ! 

die bure sorje uns fur brot, 

sunsck sterbe mir de kungertod ; 

trak alles widder f urt ! ' 

's fxaule krint, der vatter sckilt : 

' a bur mir nitt als spieldings gilt, 

i kid (ick leide) net dass me rnurrt. 

pack alles sackte widder iin 

unn trail's ans nainli pliitzel kin, 

wo des (du's) gennmme kest. 

baut nit der bur sin ackerfeld, 

se feklt's bi uns an brot unn geld 

in unserin felsennest.' 

and tkinks ' I'll take tkein witk me.' 

Tken plumps down on tke ground 

and spreads her apron out, 

grasps all in ker kand, pops it in, 

and runs rigkt joyful kome; 

leaps up tke rock-patk brisk, 

wkere tbe kill is now so steep 

and men must scramble up, 

ske makes but one stride. 

Tke baron sits just tken at table : 

' my ckild, wkat bringst witk thee ? 

joy looks out at tkine eyes ; 

undo tkine apron, quick, 

wkat kast so wonderful tkerein ? ' 

' fatker, playthings quite too neat, 

I ne'er kad augkt so pretty,' 

and sets it all before kim. 

On tke table ske sets tke plough, 

tke farmers and tkeir horses, 

runs round tkem and laugks, 

ker joy is all too great. 

' Ak ckild, tkis is no playtking, 

a pretty tking tkou kast done ! ' 

saitk tke baron quick, and laugks, 

' go take it back ! 

tbe farmers provide us witk bread, 

else we die tke kunger-deatk ; 

carry it all away again.' 

Tke maiden cries, tke fatker scolds : 

' a farmer skall be no toy to me. 

I will kave no grumbling ; 

pack it all up softly again 

and carry it to tke same place 

wkere tkou tookst it from. 

Tills not tke farmer kis field, 

we are skort of bread and money 

in our nest on tke rock.' 

Similar anecdotes from the Harz and the Odenwald are given 
in Deut. sag. nos. 319. 324. In Hesse the giant's daughter 
is placed on the Hipporsberg (betw. Kolbe, Wehrda and Goss- 
felden) : her father rates her soundly, and sets the ploughman 
at liberty again with commendations. The same story is told at 
Dittersdorf near Blankcnburg (betw. Rudolstadt and Saalfeld). 
Again, a hlinin with her daughter dwelt on Hunenkoppe at the 
entrance of the Black Forest. The daughter fouud a peasant 
ploughing on the common, and put him in her apron, oxen, plough 
aud all, then went and showed her mother 'the little fellow 

540 GIANTS. 

and his pussy-cats.' The mother angrily bade her cany man, 
beast and plough directly back to where she found them : ' they 
belong to a people that may do the hiines much mischief.' And 
they both left the neighbourhood soon after. 1 Yet again : when 
the Griingrund and the country round about were still inhabited 
by giants, two of them fell in with an ordinary man : ' what sort 
of groundworm is this ? ' asked one, and the other answered, 
' these groimdworms will make a finish of us yet ! ' (Mone's Anz. 
8, 64). Now sentiments like these savour more of antiquity than 
the fair reasons of the Alsatian giant, and they harmonize with 
a Finnish folk-tale. Giants dwelt in Kernisocken, and twenty 
years ago 2 there lived at E-ouwwanjemi an old woman named 
Caisa, who told this tale : A giant maiden (kalewan tyttiiren) 
took up horse and 'ploughman and plough (bewosen ja kyntajan 
ja auran) on her lap, carried them to her mother and asked, 
1 what kind of beetle (sontiainen) can this be, mother, that I found 
rooting up the ground there ? ' The mother said, ' put them 
away, child ; we have to leave this country, and they are to live 
here instead.' The old giant race have to give way to agri- 
cultural man, agriculture is an eye-sore to them, as it is to dwarfs 
(p. 459). The honest coarse grain of gianthood, which looks 
upon man as a tiny little beast, a beetle burrowing in the mud, 
but yet is secretly afraid of him, could not be hit off more 
happily than in these few touches. I believe this tradition is 
domiciled in many other parts as well (see Suppl.). 

Not less popular or naive is the story of the giant on a journey 
being troubled with a little stone in his shoe : when at last he 
shakes it out, there is a rock or hill left on the ground. The 
Brunswick Anzeigen for 1759 inform us on p. 1636 : ( A peasant 
said to me once, as I travelled in his company past a hill on the 
R. Elm: Sir, the folk say that here a hiine cleared out his shoe, 
and that's how this hill arose.' The book ' Die kluge trodelfrau ' 
by E. J. 0. P. N. 1682, p. 14, mentions a large stone in the 
forest, and says : ' Once a great giant came this way with a 
pebble in his shoe that hurt him, and when he untied the shoe, 
this stone fell out.' The story is still told of a smooth rock near 
Goslar, how the great Christopher carried it in his shoe, till he 

1 L. A. Walther's Einl. in die thiir. schwarzb. gesch., Budolst. 1788, p. 52. 

2 In Ganauder's time (Finn. myth. p. 30). 

• GIANTS. 541 

felt something gall his foot; ho pulled off the shoe and turned if 
down, when the stone fell where it now lies. Such stones are 
also called crumb-stones. On the Soiling near Uslar lie some 
large boundary-stones, 16 to 20 feet long, and 6 to 8 thick : time 
out of mind two giants were jaunting across country; says the 
one to the other, ' this shoe hurts me, some bits of gravel I think 
it must be/ with that he pulled off the shoe and shook these stones 
out. In the valley above Ilfeld, close to the Biihr, stands a huge 
mass of rock, which a giant once shook out of Ills shoe, because 
the grain of sand galled him. I am confident this myth also has 
a wide circulation, it has even come to be related of a mere set 
of men : ' The men of Sauerland in Westphalia are fine sturdy 
fellows ; they say one of them walked to Cologne once, and on 
arriving at the gate, asked his fellow-traveller to wait a moment, 
while he looked in his shoe to see what had been teazing him so 
all the while. " Nay " said the other, " hold out now till we get 
to the inn." The Sauerlander said very well, and they trudged 
up and down the long streets. But at the market-place he could 
stand it no longer, he took the shoe off and threw out a great lump 
of stone, and there it has lain this long while to prove my words/ 
A Norwegian folk-tale is given by Hammerich (om Ragnaroks- 
mythen, p. 93) : a jutel had got something into his eye, that 
pricked him ; he tried to ferret it out with his finger, but that 
was too bulky, so he took a sheaf of corn, and with that he 
managed the business. It was a fir-cone, which the giant felt 
between his fingers, and said : ' who'd have thought a little thing 
like that would hurt you so ? ' (see Suppl.). 

The Edda tells wonderful things of giant Skrymir, 1 in the 
thumb of whose glove the god Thorr found a night's lodging. 
Skrymir goes to sleep under an oak, and snores ; when Thorr 
with his hammer strikes him on the head, he wakes up and asks 
if a leaf has fallen on him. The giant lies down under another 
oak, and snores so that the forest roars; Thorr hits him a harder 
blow than before, and the giant awaking cries, ' did an acorn fill- 
on my face ? ' He falls asleep a third time, and Thorr repeats 
his blow, making a yet deeper dint, but the giant merely strokes 
his cheek, and remarks, ' there must be birds roosting in those 

1 Iu the Favuc dialect Skrujmsli (Lyngbye, p. -ISO). ON. skraumr blatero, 

542 GIANTS. 

boughs; I fancied, when I woke, they dropt something on my 
head/ Sn. 51-53. These are touches of genuine gianthood, 
and are to be met with in quite different regions as well. A 
Bohemian story makes the giant Scharmak sleep under a tower, 
which his enemies undermine, so that it tumbles about his ears ; 
lie shakes himself up and cries : ' this is a bad place to rest in, 
the birds drop things on your head.' After that, three men drag 
a large bell up the oaktree under which Scharmak is asleep, 
snoring 1 so hard that the leaves shake : the bell is cut down, and 
comes crashing on the giant, but he does not even wake. A 
German nursery-tale (1, 307) has something very similar; in 
another one, millstones are dropt on a giant in the well, and he 
calls out, ' drive those hens away, they scratch the sand up there, 
and make the grains come in my eyes ' (2, 29) - 1 

A giantess (gygr) named HyrroUn (igne fumata) is mentioned 
in the Edda, Sn. 66 on occasion of Baldr's funeral : nothing 
could set the ship Hringhorn, in which the body lay, in motion ; 
they sent to the giants, and Hyrrokin came ridiDg on a wolf, 
with a snake for bridle and rein ; she no sooner stept up to the 
vessel and touched it with her foot, than fire darted out of the 
beams, and the firm land quaked. I also find in a Norwegian 
folk-tale (Faye, p. 14), that a giantess (djurre) by merely kicking 
the shore with her foot threw a ship into the most violent agita- 

Eabelais 3 and Fischart have glorified the fable of Gargantua. 
It was, to begin with, an old, perhaps even a Celtic, giant-story, 
whose genuine simple form may even yet be recoverable from 
unexpired popular traditions. 3 Gargantua, an enormous eater 
and drinker, who as a babe had, like St. Christopher, taxed 
the resources of ten wetnurses, stands with each foot on a high 
mountain, and stooping down drinks up the river that runs between 

1 Conf. the story of the giant Audsch in Hammer's Eosenol 1, 114. _ 

2 Eabelais took his subject-matter from an older book, printed already in the 
15th century, and published more than once in the 16th : Les chroniques admirables 
du puissant roi Gargantua s. 1. et a. (gotbique) 8 ; Lyon 1532. 4 ; La plaisante et 
joyeuse histoire du grand Gargantua. Valence 1547. 8; at last as a chap-book: 
La vie du fameux Gargantua, le plus terrible geant qui ait amais paru sur la terre. 
Conf. Notice sur les chroniques de Garg., par l'auteur des nouv. rech. bibl. Tans 

3 A beginning has been made in Traditions de l'ancien duchS de Eetz, sur Garg. 
(Mem de l'acad. celt. 5, 392-5), and in Volkssagen aus dem Greyersland (Alpen- 
rosen 1824, pp. 57-8). From the latter I borrow what stands in the test. 

GIANTS. 543 

(see Suppl.). A Westphalian legend of the Weser has much the 
same tale to tell : On the R. Soiling, near Mt. Eberstein, stands 
the Hiinenbrink, a detached conical hill [brink = grassy knoll]. 
When the hiine who dwelt there of old wanted to wash his face 
of a morning, he would plant one foot on his own hill, and with 
the other stride over to the Eichholz a mile and a half away, and 
draw from the brook that flows through the valley. If his neck 
ached with stooping and was like to break, he stretched one arm 
over the Burgberg and laid hold of Lobach, Negenborn and 
Holenberg to support himself. 

We are often told of two giant comrades or neighbours, living 
on adjacent heights, or on two sides of a river, and holding con- 
verse. In Ostergotland, near Tumbo in Ydre-harad, there was a 
jiitte named Tumme ; when he wished to speak to his chum Oden 
at Hersmala two or three miles off, he went up a neighbouring 
hill Hogatoft, from which you can see all over Ydre (Widegren's 
Ostergotland 2, 397). The first of the two names is apparently 
the ON. Jminbi (stultus, inconcinnus, conf. p. 528), but the other 
is that of the highest god, and was, I suppose, introduced in 
later legend by way of disparagement. German folktales make 
such giants throw stone hammers and axes to each other (Deut. 
sag. no. 20), which reminds one of the thundergod's hammer. 
Two hiines living, one on the Eberstein, the other on Homburg, 
had but one axe between them to split their wood with. When 
the Eberstein hiine was going to work, he shouted across to 
Homburg four miles off, and his friend immediately threw the axe 
over ; and the contrary, when the axe happened to be on the 
Eberstein. The same thing is told in a tradition, likewise West- 
phalian, of the hiines on the Hiinenkeller and the Porta throwing 
their one hatchet. 1 The hiines of the Brunsberg and Wiltberg, 
between Godelheim and Amelunxen, played at bowls together 
across the Weser (Deut. sag. no. 16). Good neighbours too were 
the giants on Weissenstein and Remberg in Upper Hesse ; they 
had a baking-oven in common, that stood midway in the field, and 
when one was kneading his dough, he threw a stone over as a 
sign that wood was to be fetched from his neighbour's fort to 
heat the oven. Once they both happened to be throwing at the 

1 Ecdeker's Westfiilische sagen, no. 3G. 

544 GIANTS. 

same time, the stones met in the air, 1 and fell where tliey now 
lie in the middle of the field above Michelbach, each with the 
marks of a big giant hand stamped on it. Another way of 
signalling was for the giant to scratch Ids body, which was done 
so loud that the other heard it distinctly. The three very ancient 
chapels by Sachsenheim, Oberwittighausen and Grriinfeldhausen 
were built by giants, who fetched the great heavy stones in their 
aprons. When the first little church was finished, the giant 
flung his hammer through the air : wherever it alighted, the next 
building was to begin. It came to the ground five miles off, and 
there was erected the second church, on completing which the 
giant flung the hammer once more, and where it fell, at the same 
distance of five miles, he built the third chapel. In the one at 
Sachsenheim a huge rib of the builder is preserved (Mone's Anz. 
8,63). The following legends come from Westphalia: Above 
Nettelstadt-on-the-hill stands the Hiinenbrink, where hiines lived 
of old, and kept on friendly terms with their fellows on the Stell 
(2\ miles farther). When the one set were baking, and the 
other wanted a loaf done at the same time, they just pitched, it 
over (see Suppl.). A hiine living at Hilverdingsen on the south 
side of the Schwarze lake, and another living at Hille on the 
north side, used to bahe their bread together. One morning the 
one at Hilverdingsen thought he heard his neighbour emptying 
his kneading-trough, all ready for baking ; he sprang from his 
lair, snatched up his dough, and leapt over the lake. But it was 
no such thing, the noise he had heard was only his neighbour 
scratcliing liis leg. At Altehiiffen there lived hiinen, who had but 
one knife at their service; this they kept stuck in the trunk of a 
tree that stood in the middle of the village, and whoever wanted 
it fetched it thence, and then put it back in its place. The spot 
is still shown where the tree stood. These hiines, who were also 
called duties, were a people exceedingly scant of wit, and to them 
is due the proverb 'Altehiiffen dumme dutten.' As the surround- 
ing country came more and more under cultivation, the hiinen 
felt no longer at ease among the new settlers, and they retired. 
It was then that the duttes of Altehiiffen also made up their minds 
to emigrate; but what they wanted was to go and find the 

1 Like Hrfmgni's hein and Thur's hammer, p. 533. 

GIANTS. 545 

entrance into Leaven. How they fared on the way was never 
known, but the joke is made upon them, that after a long march 
they came to a great calm, clear sheet of water, in which the 
bright sky was reflected ; here they thought they could plunge 
into heaven, so they jumped in and were drowned. 1 From so 
remarkable a consensus 2 we cannot but draw the conclusion, that 
the giants held together as a people, and were settled in the 
mountains of a country, but that they gradually gave way to 
the human race, which may be regarded as a nation of invaders. 
Legend converts their stone weapons into the woodman's axe or 
the knife, their martial profession into the peaceable pursuit of 
baking bread. It was an ancient custom to stick swords or 
knives into a tree standing in the middle of the yard (Fornald. 
sog. 1, 120-1) ; a man's strength was proved by the depth to 
which he drove the hatchet into a stem, RA. 97. The jumping 
into the blue lake savours of the fairy-tale, and comes before us 
in some other narratives (Kinderm. 1, 343. 3, 112). 

But, what deserves some attention, Swedish folktales make the 
divine foe of giants, him that hurls thunderbolts and throws 
hammers, himself play with stones as with balls. Once, as Thor 
was going past Linneryd in Smaland with his henchman (the 
Thialfi of the Edda), he came upon a giant to whom he was not 
known, and opened a conversation : ' Whither goes thy way ? ' 
' I go to heaven to fight Thor, who has set my stable on fire.' 
' Thou presumest too much ; why, thou hast not even the strength 
to lift this little stone and set it on the great one.' The giant 
clutched the stone with all his might, but could not lift it off the 
ground, so much weight had Thor imparted to it. Thor's servant 
tried it next, and lifted it lightly as he would a glove. Then 
the giant knew it was the god, and fell upon him so lustily that 
he sank on his knees, but Thor swung his hammer and laid 
the enemy prostrate. 

All over Germany there are so many of these stories about 
stones and hammers being hurled, and giant's fingers imprinted 

1 The last four tales from Redeker, nos. 37 to 40. Dutten means stulti, and is 
further intensified by the adj. In the Teutonist (/"</ = gawk, conf. Riohthofen sub 
v. dud, ami supra, p. 528 on tumbo. Similar tales on the Kkon mts., only with 
everything giant-like effaced, about the tollen dittisser (Bechstein pp. 81-91). 

' I do not know that any tract in Germany is richer in giant-stories than West- 
phalia and Hesse. Conf. also Kuhn's Markische sagen, nos. 22. 47. 107. 132. 141. 
14'J. 158. 202. Temme's Pommersche sagen, nos. 175-184. 187. 

546 GIANTS. 

on hard rock, that I can only select one here and there as samples 
of the style and spirit of the rest. Rains of a castle near Honi- 
berg in Lower Hesse mark the abode of a giantess ; five miles 
to one side of it, by the village of Gombet, lies a stone which 
she hurled all the way from Homberg at one throw, and you see 
the fingers of her hand imprinted on it. The Scharfenstein by 
Gudensberg was thrown there by a giant in his rage. On the 
Tyrifjordensstrand near Bum in Norway is a large stone, which 
one jutul fighting with another is said to have flung obliquely 
across the bay, and plain marks of his fingers remain on the stone 
(Faye, p. 15). Two or three miles from Dieren in the Meissen 
country there lie a block of quartz and one of granite ; the former 
was thrown by the giant of Wantewitz at the giant of Zadel, the 
latter by the Zadeler at the Wantewitzer ; but they both missed, 
the stones having fallen wide of the mark. 1 So two combatants 
at Refniis and Asniis threw enormous stones at each other, one 
called sortensteen, the other blak, and the latter still shews the 
fingers of the thrower (Thiele 1, 47). A kind of slaty stone in 
Norway, says Hallager 53 a , is called jyvrikling, because the jyvri 
(giantess) is said to have smeared it over with butter, and you 
may see the dint of her fingers on it. Two giants at Nestved 
tried their hands at hurling stones ; the one aimed his at Riislov 
church, but did not reach it, the other threw with such force that 
the stone flew right over the Steinwald, and may still be seen 
on the high road from Nestved to Ringsted (Thiele 1, 80 ; conf. 
176). In the wood near Palsgaard lies a huge stone, which a 
jette flung there because the lady of the manor at Palsgaard, 
whom he was courting, declined his proposals ; others maintain 
that a jette maiden slung it over from Fiinen with leer garter 
(Thiele 3, 65-6; conf. 42). 

When giants fight, and one pursues another, they will in their 
haste leap over a village, and slit their great toe against the 
church- spire, so that the blood spirts out in jets and forms a 
pool (Deut. sag. no. 325) ; which strikingly resembles Waina- 
moinen, rune 3. In leaping off a steep cliff, their foot or their 
horse's hoof leaves tracks in the stone (ibid. nos. 318-9). Also, 
when a giant sits down to rest on a stone, or leans against a rock, 

1 Freusker in Kruse's Deutsch. alteith. iii. 3, 37. 

GIANTS. 547 

his figure prints itself on the hard surface/ e.g. Starcather's in 
Saxo Gram. 111. 

It is not as smiths, like the cyclops, that giants are described 
in German legend, and the forging of arms is reserved for dwarfs. 
Once in our hero-legend the giant Asprian forges shoes (Roth. 
2029) j also the giant Vade makes his son Velint learn smith- 
work, first with Mimir, then with dwarfs. 

As for smi&r in the ON. language, it does not mean faber, but 
artificer in genei'al, and particularly builder; and to be accom- 
plished builders is a main characteristic of giants, the authors of 
those colossal structures of antiquity (p. 534). On the nine giant- 
pillars near Miltenberg the common folk still see the handmarks 
of the giants who intended therewith to build a bridge over the 
Main (Deut. sag. no. 19). 

The most notable instance occurs in the Edda itself. A iutunn 
had come to the ases, professing to be a smvSr, and had pledged 
himself to build them a strong castle within a year and a half, if 
they would let him have Frcijja with the sun and moon into the 
bargain. The gods took counsel, and decided to accept his offer, 
if he would undertake to finish the building by himself without 
the aid of man, in one winter; if on the first day of summer 
anything in the castle was left undone, he should forfeit all his 
claims. How the ' smith/ with no help but that of his strong 
horse Sva&ilfari, had nearly accomplished the task, but was 
hindered by Loki and slain by Thorr, is related in Sn. 46-7. 

Well, this myth, obeying that wondrous law of fluctuation so 
often observed in genuine popular traditions, lives on, under new 
forms, in other times and places. A German fairy tale puts the 
devil in the place of the giant (as, in a vast number of talcs, it is 
the devil now that executes buildings, hurls rocks, and so on, 
precisely as the giant did before him) : the devil is to build a 
house for a peasant, and get his soul in exchange ; but he must 
have done before the cock crows, else the peasant is free, and the 
devil has lost his pains. The work is very near completion, one 
tile alone is wanting to the roof, when the peasant imitates the 

1 Herod. 4, 82 : txvoz "QpaxMos (paivoven iv irtrpT) eveov, rb ot/ce fih j3ri/j.a.Ti dySpbt, 
tan Si rb fieyaOos Slir-qxv, irapa rbv TOpr/v wora/x^f, in Scytbia. (Footprint of 
Herakles in stone, like a man's, but two cubits loug.) 

548 GIANTS. 

crowing of a cock, and immediately all the cocks in the neigh- 
bourhood begin to crow, and the enemy of man loses his wager. 
There is more of the antique in a Norrland saga : l King Olaf of 
Norway walked 'twixt hill and dale, buried in thought ; he had 
it in his heart to build a church, the like of which was nowhere 
to be seen, but the cost of it would grievously impoverish his 
kingdom. In this perplexity he met a man of strange appearance, 
who asked him why he was so pensive. Olaf declared to him 
his purpose, and the giant (troll) offered to complete the building 
by his single self within a certain time ; for wages he demanded 
the sun and moon, or St. Olaf himself. To this the king agreed, 
but projected such a plan for the church, as he thought impossible 
of execution : it was to be so large, that seven priests could 
preach in it at once without disturbing each other ; pillar and 
ornament, within and without, must be wrought of hard flint, 
and so on. Erelong such a structure stood completed, all but 
the roof and spire. Perplexed anew at the stipulated terms, 
Olaf wandered over hill and dale; suddenly inside a mountain he 
heard a child cry, and a giant-woman (jatteqvinna) hush it with 
these words : ' tyst, tyst (hush) ! 2 to-morrow comes thy father 
Wind- and- Weather home, bringing both sun and moon, or saintly 
Olaf s self.'' Overjoyed at this discovery, 3 for to name an evil 
spirit brings his power to nought, Olaf turned home : all was 
finished, the spire was just fixed on, when Olaf cried : ' Vind och 
Veder ! du har satt spiran sneder (hast set the spire askew). 5 
Instantly the giant, with a fearful crash, fell off the ridge of 
the church's roof, and burst into a thousand pieces, which were 
nothing but flintstones. According to different accounts, the 
jatte was named Blaster, and Olaf cried: 'Blaster, satt spiran 
vaster (set the spire west-er) ! ' or he was called Slatt, and the 
rhyme ran : ' Slatt, satt spiran ratt (straight) ! ' They have the 
same story in Norway itself, but the giant's name is Skalle, and 
he reared the magnificent church at Nidaros. In Schonen the 
giant is Finn, who built the church at Lund, and was turned into 

1 Extracted, from Zetterstrom's collection, in the third no. of the Iduna, 2 ed. 
Stockh. 1816, pp. 60-1. Now included, with others like it, in Afzelius's Sago- 
hafder 3, 83-86. 

2 Conf. the interj. ' ziss, ziss ! ' in H. Sachs iv. 3, 3 b . 

3 Almost in the same way, and with similar result, the name of Euinpelstilz is 
discovered in Kmderm. 55; conf. 3, 98, and supra p. 505 n. 

GIANTS. 549 

stone by St. Lawrence (Finii Magnusen's Lex. myth. 351-2 ; and 
see Suppl.). 

It is on another side that the following tale from Courland 
touches the stoiy in the Edda. In Kintegesinde of the Dzervens 
are some old wall-stones extending a considerable lcno-th and 
breadth j and the people say : Before the plague (i.e. time out of 
mind) there lived in the district of Hasenpot a strong man (giant) 
of the name of Kinte. He could hew out and polish huge masses 
of stone, and carted even the largest blocks together with his 
one white mare. His dwelling-house he built on rocks, his fields 
he fenced with stone ramparts. Once he had a quarrel with a 
merchant of Libau- to punish him, he put his white mure to 
draw a stone equal to twelve cartloads all the way to Libau, 
intending to drop it at the merchant's door. When he reached 
the town, they would not let him cross the bridge, fearing it 
would break under the load, and insisted on his removing the 
stone outside the liberties. The strong man, deeply mortified, 
did so, and dropt the stone on the road that goes to Grobin by 
Battenhof. There it lies to this day, and the Lettons, as they 
pass, point to it in astonishment. 1 Kinte's white mare may stand 
for the Scandinavian smith's SvaSilfari ; the defeat of the giant's 
building designs is effected in a different way. 

King Olaf brooked many other adventures with giants and 
giantesses. As he sailed past the high hills on the Horns-herred 
coast, in which a giantess lived, she called out to him : 

S. Olaf med dit rode skiiig, 

du seilar for nar ved min kjeldervag ! 

(St. Olaf with thy red beard, thou sailest too near my cellar wall). 
Olaf was angry, and instead of steering his vessel between the 
cliffs, he turned her head on to the hill, and answered : 

hor du kjerling med rok og med teen, 
her skal du sidde og blive en steen ! 

(hear, thou carlin with distaff and spool, here shalt thou sit and 
become a stone). He had scarce finished speaking, when the hill 
split open, the giantess was changed into a stone, and you still 
see her sitting with sj>indle and distaff on the eastern cliff; a 

1 Cumuiuuic. by "Watson iu Jahresverhandl. der kurl. gGicllscb. 2, 311-2. 

550 GIANTS. 

sacred spring issued from the opposite cliff. 1 According to a 
Swedish account, Olaf wished to sail through Viirmeland and by 
L. Vaner to Nerike, when the troll shouted to him : 

kong Olaf med dit pipuga ski'tgg (peaky beard), 
du seglar for nar min badstuguvagg (bathroom wall) ! 
Olaf replied : 

du troll med din rak och ten 

skal bli i sten 

och aldrig mer gora skeppare men ! 

(shalt turn to stone, and never more make skipper moan). The 
giantess turned into stone, and the king erected a cross at Dalky 
church in Elfdals herred. 2 The Danish rhyme is also quoted as 
follows : 

hor du Oluf rodeskjag, 

hvi seiler du igjennem vor stuevag (through our chamber wall) ? 


stat du der og bliv til steen, 

og (gjor) ingen dannemand (no Dane) mere til meen ! 3 

In Norway itself the legend runs thus : The Hornelen Mountains 
in Bremanger were once connected with Maroe, but are now 
divided from it by a sound. St. Olaf sailed up to them, and 
commanded the cliffs to part and let him pass through. They 
did so, but instantly a giantess leapt out of the mountain and 
cried : 

sig (see), du mand med det hvide skiig (white beard), 
hvi splitter du saa min klippeviig ? 


stat (stand) trold nu evig der i steen, 

saa gjor du ei nogen mand (not any man) meer meen. 

His word came to pass, and the stone figure stands yet on the 
cliff (Faye 124). OlaPs reel heard (like those of our hero-kings 
Otto and Friedrich) reminds us of Thorr the foe of giants (p. 177) ; 
'pipuga skiigg' is apparently the same as the pipsMgg, wedge- 

1 Danske viser 2, 12-3. Thiele 1, 32 ; conf. Faye, 118-9. 

2 Ferncw's Varmeland, p. 223. 

3 Nyerup's Karakteristik af Christian 4, p. 17. 

GIANTS. 551 

like or peaked beard, quoted by Hire ; but the Norwegian rhyme 
has white beard (the barbe fleurie of Charlemagne). Such 
divergences, and the changes rung on * cellar wall, bathroom 
wall, cliff wall/ vouch for the popular character of the tradition 
(see Suppl.). It will surprise no one, if I produce a still older 
type of the whole story from the Edda itself. When Brynhildr 
in her decorated car was faring the ' hel-veg/ she went past 
the dwelling of a gygr ; the giantess accosts her with the words 
(Seem. 228 a ) : 

skaltu i gognom ganga eigi 

grioti studda garSa mina ! 

(shalt not go through my stone-built house). This brings on a 
dialogue, which is closed by Brynhildr with the exclamation : 
' seykstu gygjarkyn ! ' (conf. p. 497n.). The giantess's house is 
of stones skilfully put together, and the later rhymes speak of 
cellar and bathroom : she herself is quite the housewife with 
distaff and spindle. The sacred rights of domesticity are in- 
fringed, when strangers burst their way through. There are 
other instances in which the giantess, like the elfin, is described 
with spindle and distaff: ' tolv trolclqvinder (12 trold-women) de 
stode for hannem med roh og ten' (Danske viser 1, 94) . x 

Close to the Romsdalshorn in Norway is a mountain called 
Troldtinder, whose jutting crags are due to giants whom Olaf 
converted into stones, because they tried to prevent his preaching 
Christianity in Romsdal. 2 

It would appear, from Sasm. 145 b , that giants, like dwarfs, 
have reason to dread the daylight, and if surprised by the break 
of day, they turn into stone : ' dagr er nil/ cries Atli to HrimgerSr, 
'hafnar mark ]>yckir hlcegeligt vera, pars pu i stria* liki stendr. 3 

Grotesque humanlike shapes assumed by stalactite, Hint and 
flakestone on the small scale, and by basalt and granite rocks on 
the great, have largely engendered and fed these fancies about 

1 The Celtic fay carries huge stones on her spindle, and spins on as she walks, 
Keightley 2, 286. Conf. supra, p. 413. 

2 Faye 121, who follows Schoning's Eeise 2, 128. Sanct Olafs saga pa svenske 
rim, ed. Hadorph. p. 37: 'ell troll, som draap X man, has giordit i stena, och 
Btander an ; Mere troll han och bortdref, sidan folckit i frijd blef.' Certain round 
pot-shaped holes found in the mountains, the Norwegian people believe to be the 
work of giants. They call them jattegryter, troldgryter, yet also S. Oles gryter 
(IhMager 53 u ). 


552 GIANTS. 

petrified giants. Then the myth about stone-circles accounts for 
their form by dances of giants ; l many rocks have stories attached 
to them of wedding-folk and dancing guests being turned into 
stone (see Suppl.). The old and truly popular terminology of 
mountains everywhere uses the names of different parts of the 
body ; to mountains are given a head, brow, neck, back, shoulder, 
knee, foot, etc. (RA. 541). 

And here we come across numerous approximations and over- 
lappings between the giant-legend and those of dwarfs, schrats 
and watersprites, as the comprehensive name troll in Scandinavian 
tradition would of itself indicate. Dwarfs of the mountains are, 
like giants, liable to transformation into stone, as indeed they 
have sprung out of stone (p. 532-8). Rosmer havmand (merman) 
springs or flies, as the graphic phrase is, into stone? 

Then on the other side, the notion of the giant gets a good deal 
mixed up with that of the hero, usually his opposite. Strong 
Jack in our nursery- tales assumes quite the character of a giant ; 
and even Siegfried, pure hero as he is in the Mid. Age poems, 
yet partakes of giant nature when acting as a smith, like Wielant, 
who is of giant extraction. Moreover, both Siegfried slightly, 
and Strong Jack more distinctly, acquire a tinge of that Eulen- 
spiegel or Riibezahl humour (p. 486) which is so amusing in the 
Finnish stories of Kalewa, Hi si, and especially Soini (conf. 
Kalewala, rune 19). This Soini or Kullervo bears the nickname 
of Kalki (schalk, rogue) ; when an infant three days old, he tore 
up his baby-linen ; sold to a Carelian smith, and set to mind the 
baby, he dug its eyes out, killed it, and burnt the cradle. Then, 
when his master ordered him to fence the fields in, he took whole 
fir-trees and pines, and wattled them with snakes ; after that, he 

1 Stonehenge, AS. Stanhenge (-hanging), near Salisbury, in Welsh Choirgaur, 
Lat. chorea gigantum : ace. to Giraldus Carnbr. cap. 18, a cairn brought by giants 
from Africa to Spain (Palgrave's Hist, of AS., p. 50) ; conf. Diefenbach's Celtica 
ii. 101. In Trist. 5887, Gurmun is said to be 'born of Africa.' 

2 Danske viser 1, 223 : ' nan sprang saa vildt i bjerget om, og blev til flintesten 
sorte.' 1, 228 : ' han blev til en kampesteen graa.' 1, 233: 'saa floj han bort i 
roden flint, og blev saa borte med alle.' 1, 185 of a cruel stepmother : ' hun sprang 
bort i flintesteen.' But H. Sachs too has, iii. 3, 31*. 426, 'vor zorn zu einem stein 
springen ; ' ib. 53 b , ' vor sorg zu eim stein springen ; ' iv. 3, 97 d , ' vor leid wol zu eim 
stein mocht springen.'' Overpowering emotions make the life stand still, and curdle 
it into cold stone. Conf. Chap. XXXII. on the heroes entrapped in mountains, and 

GIANTS. 553 

had to pasture the flock, but the goodwife having baked a stone 
in his bread, Soini was in such a rage that he called bears and 
wolves to aid him, who tore the woman's legs and worried the 
flock. The Esthonians also tell of a giant's son (Kallewepoeg), 
who furrowed up grassy lands with a wooden plough, and not a 
blade has grown on them since (see Suppl.). This trickiness of 
the Finnish giants is a contrast to the rough but honest ways 
of the German and Scandinavian. 

Above all, there is no clear line to be drawn between giants 
and the wild hairy woodsprites dealt with in pp. 478-486. In the 
woods of the Binofenheim Mark are seen the stone seats of the 
wild folk (conf. p. 432) who once lived there, and the print of 
their hands on the stones (Deut. sag. no. 166). In the vale of 
Gastein, says Muchar, p. 137, wild men have lived within the 
memory of man, but the breed has died out since ; one of them 
declared he had seen the forest of Sallesen near Mt. Stubner- 
kogel get ( mair ' (die out and revive again) nine times : he could 
mind when the Bocksteinkogl was no bigger than a kranawetvogl 
(crossbill ?), or the mighty Schareck than a twopenny roll. Their 
strength was gigantic: to hurl a ploughshare the whole breadth 
of the valley was an easy throw for them. One of these ' men ' 
leant his staff against the head farmer's house, and the whole 
house shook. Their dwelling was an inaccessible cavern on the 
left bank of the Ache, at the entrance to the Klamm ; outside 
the cave stood some appletrees, and with the apples they would 
pelt the passers-by in fun ; remains of their household stuff are 
still to be seen. To the inhabitants of the valley they were 
rather friendly than otherwise, and often put a quantity of butter 
and milk before their house-doors. This last feature is more of a 
piece with the habits of dwarfs and elves than of giants. 

Just as the elves found the spread of agriculture and the clear- 
ing of their forests an abomination, which compelled them to 
move out ; so the giants regard the woods as their own property, 
in which they are by no means disposed to let men do as they 
please. A peasant's son had no sooner begun to cut down a 
bushy pinetree, than a great stout trold made his appearance 
with the threat : ' dare to cut in my wood, and I'll strike thee 
dead' (Asbiurnsen's Moe, no. 6) ; the Danish folk-song of Elme 
af Villenskov is founded on this, D.V. 1, 175. And no less do 

554 GIANTS. 

giants (like dwarfs, p. 459) hate the ringing of bells, as in the 
Swedish tale of the old giant in the mountain (Afzelius 3, 88) ; 
therefore they sling rocks at the belfries. Gargantua also carries 
off bells from churches. 

In many of the tales that have come before us, giant and devil 
are convertible terms, especially where the former has laid aside 
his clumsiness. The same with a number of other resemblances 
between the two. The devil is described as many-headed like 
the giant, also, it is true, like the dragon and the hellhound. 
Wherever the deviPs hand clutches or his foot treads, indelible 
traces imprint themselves even on the hardest stone. The titans 
chased from Olympus resemble the angels thrust out of heaven 
and changed into devils. The abode of the giants, like that of 
heathens and devils in general (p. 34), is supposed to be in the 
north : when Freyr looks from heaven toward Iotunheim (Seem. 
81) and spies the fair giantess, this is expressed in Suorri 39 by 
' Freyr leit i norffrostt.' In the Danish folk-song of the stolen 
hammer, Thorr appears as Tord (thunder) af Hafsgaard (sea- 
burgh), while the giant from whom Loke is to get the hammer 
back dwells in Nordenfjeld ; the Swedish folk-song says more 
vaguely ' trolltrams gard.' 1 

But what runs into gianthood altogether is the nature of the 
man-eating huorco or ogre (p. 486). Like him the stone-hurling 
cyclops in the Odyssey hanker after human flesh; and again a 
Tartar giant Depeghoz (eye on top of head) 2 stands midway be- 
tween Polyphemus, who combs with a harrow and shaves with a 
scythe (Ov. Metam. 13, 764), and Gargantua. As an infant he 
sucks all the nurses dry, that offer him the breast ; when grown 
up, the Oghuzes have to supply him daily with 2 men and 500 
sheep. Bissat, the hero, burns out his eye with a red-hot knife ; 
the blinded giant sits outside the door, and feels with his hands 
each goat as it passes out. An arrow aimed at his breast would 
not penetrate, he cried ' what's this fly here teazing me?' The 
Laplanders tell of a giant Stalo, who was one-eyed, and went 
about in a garment of iron. He was feared as a man-eater, and 

1 To wish a man ' nordan till fjdlls ' (Arvidsson 2, 1G3) is to wish him in a 
disagreeable quarter (Germ, 'in pepperland,' at Jericho). 

2 Diez : The newly discovered Oghuzian cyclop compared with the Homeric. 
Halle & Berlin 1815. 

GIANTS. 555 

received the by-name of yityatya (Ni'lsson 4, 32). The Indian 
Mahabharata also represents Hkllmbas the rakshasa (giant) l as 
a man-eater, misshapen and red-bearded : man's flesh he smells 
from afar, 2 and orders Hidimba his sister to fetch it him ; but 
she, like the monster's wife or daughter in the nursery-tales, 
pities and befriends the slumbering hero (see Suppl.). 

Our own giant-stories know nothing of this grim thirst for 
blood, even the Norse iotunn is nowhere depicted as a cannibal, 
like the Greek and Oriental giants ; our giants are a great deal 
more genial, and come nearer to man's constitution in their 
shape and their way of thinking : their savagery spends itself 
mainly in hurling huge stones, removing mountains and rearing 
colossal buildings. 

Saxo Gram. pp. 10. 11 invests the giantess Harthgrepa with 
the power to make herself small or large at pleasure. This is a 
gift which fairy-tales bestow on the ogre or the devil, and folk- 
tales on the haulemutter (Harrys 2, 10 ; and Suppl.). 

It is in living legend (folktale) that the peculiar properties of 
our native giants have been most faithfully preserved ; the poets 
make their giants far less interesting, they paint them, espe- 
cially in subjects borrowed from Romance poetry, with only 
the features common to all giants. Harpin, a giant in the 
Iwein, demands a knight's daughter, hangs his sons, and lays 
waste the land (4464. 4500) : 3 when slain, he falls to the ground 
like a tree (5074) . 4 Still more vapid are the two giants intro- 
duced at 6588 seq. Even in the Tristan, the description of giant 
Urgan (15923) is not much more vivid : he levies blackmail on 
oxen and sheep, and when his hand is hewn off, he wants to heal 

1 Tevetat's second birth (Reinhart cclxxxi.) is a rakshasi, giantess, not a 

3 ' Mightily works man's smell, and amazingly quickens my nostrils,' Arjuna's 
Journey, by Bopp, p. 18. The same in our fairy-tales (supra, p. 48(3). Epithets 
of these Indian daemons indicate that they walk about by night (Bopp's gloss. 
91. 97). 

3 One giant is ' hagel al der lande,' hail-storm to all lands, Bit. 6482. 

4 N.B., his bones are treasured up outside the castle-gate (5881), as in Fischart's 
Garg. 41 a : 'they tell of riesen and haunen, shew their bones in churches, under 
town balls.' So there hangs in a church the skeleton of the giantess struck by 
lightning (p. 53] n.), the heathen maiden's dripping rift (Deut. sag. 140), and her yellow 
locks (ibid. 317); in the castle is kept the giant's bone (ibid. 324). At Alpirsbach 
in the Black Forest a giant's skeleton hangs outside the gate, and in Our Lady's 
church at Arnstadt the ' riesenribbe,' Bechst. 3, 129 ; conf. Jerichow and Werben 
in Ail. Kuhn, no. 56. The horns of a giant ox nailed up in the porch of a temple 
(Xiebuhr's Horn. Hist. 1, 407). 

556 GIANTS. 

it on again (16114) , a The giants shew more colour as we come 
to poems in the cycle of our hero-legend. Kuperan in the Hiirn. 
Sifrit (Ciiprian of the Heldens. 171) rules over 1000 giants, and 
holds in durance the captive daughter of a king. The Rother 
brings before us, all alive, the giants Asprian, Grimme, Widolt, 
the last straining like a lion at his leash, till he is let loose for 
the fight (744. 2744. 4079) ; in the steel bar that two men could 
not lift he buries his teeth till fire starts out of it (G50. 4653-74), 
and he smites with it like a thunderbolt (2734) ; the noise of his 
moving makes the earth to quake (5051), his hauberk rings 
when he leaps over bushes (4201) ; he pitches one man over the 
heads of four, so that his feet do not touch the ground (1718), 
smashes a lion against the wall (1144-53), rubs fire out of mill- 
stones (1040), wades in mould (646. 678) up to the knee (935), 
a feature preserved in Vilk. saga, cap. 60, and also Oriental 
(Hammer's Rosenol 1, 36). Asprian sets his foot on the mouth 
of the wounded (4275). And some good giant traits come out in 
Sigenot: when he breathes in his sleep, the boughs bend (60), 2 
he plucks up trees in the fir-wood (73-4), prepares lint-plugs 
(schiibel) of a pound weight to stuff into his wounds (113), takes 
the hero under his armpit and carries him off (110. 158. Hag. 9, 
Lassb.). A giantess in the Wolfdiet. picks up horse and hero, 
and, bounding like a squirrel, takes them 350 miles over the 
mountains to her giant cell; another in the folk-song (Aw. 1, 
161) carries man and horse up a mountain five miles high, where 
are two ready boiled and one on the spit (a vestige of androphagi 
after all) ; she offers her daughter to the hero, and when he 
escapes, she beats her with a club, so that all the flowers and 
leaves in the wood quiver. Giant Welle's sister Riitze in the 
Heldenbuch takes for her' staff a whole tree, root and branch, 
that two waggons could not have earned ; another woman ' of 
wild kin ' walks over all the trees, and requires two bullocks' 
hides for a pair of shoes, Wolfd. 1513. Giant Langbein (Danske 
viser 1, 26) is asleep in the wood, when the heroes wake him up 
(see Suppl.). 

A good many giant-stories not yet discovered and collected 

1 The Eomance giants are often porters and bridge-keepers, conf. the dorper in 
Fergut (supra, p. 535) ; yet also in Nib. 457, 4. 458, 1 : ' rise portenare.' 

2 The same token of gianthood is in Vilk. saga, cap. 176, and in a Servian lay. 

GIANTS. 557 

must still be living in the popular traditions of Norway and 
Sweden, 1 and even we in Germany may gather something from 
oral narration, though not much from books. The monk of St. 
Gall (Pertz 2, 75C) has an Eishere (i.e. Egisheri, terribilis) of 
Thurgau, but he is a giant-like hero, not a giant. 2 

Of sacrifices offered to giants (as well as to friendly elves and 
home-sprites), of a worship of giants, there is hardly a trace. 
Yet in Kormakssaga 242 I find blotrisi, giant to whom one 
sacrifices; and the buttered stone (p. 546) may have been smeared 
for the giantess, not by her, for it was the custom of antiquity to 
anoint sacred stones and images with oil or fat, conf. p. 63. As 
to the ' gude lubbe ' whose worship is recorded by Bp. Gebhard 
(p. 526), his gianthood is not yet satisfactorily made out. Fasolt, 
the giant of storm, was invoked in exorcisms ; but here we may 
regard him as a demigod, like ThorgerSr and Irpa, who were 
adored in Scandinavia (see Suppl.). 

The connexion pointed out between several of the words for 
giant and the names of ancient nations is similar to the agree- 
ment of certain heroic names with historic characters. Mythic 
traits get mysteriously intergrown with historic, and as Dietrich 
and Charles do duty for a former god or hero, Hungarians and 
Avars are made to stand for the old notion of giants. Only we 
must not carry this too far, but give its due weight to the 
fact that iotunn and burs 3 have in themselves an intelligible 

1 Hiilphers 3, 47 speaks of ' lojlige berattelse om fordna jfittar,' without going 
into them. 

- It is quite another thing, when in the debased folktale Siegfried the hero 
degenerates into a giant (Whs. heldensage, pp. 301-16), as divine Oden Liinixl f 
(p. 155) and ThOrr are degraded into diivels and dolts. A still later view (Altd. bl. 
1, 122) regards riese and recke (hero) as all one. 

3 Schafarik (Slov. star. 1, 258) sees nothing in them but Geta and Thyrsus ; 
at that rate the national name Thussagetse must include both. 


Now that we have treated of gods, heroes, elves, and giants, 
we are at length prepared to go into the views of ancient times 
on cosmogony. And here I am the more entitled to take the 
Norse ideas for a groundwork, as indications are not wanting of 
their having equally prevailed among the other Teutonic races. 

Before the creation of heaven and earth, there was an immense 
chasm called gap (hiatus, gaping), or by way of emphasis gap 
ginnunga (chasm of chasms), corresponding in sense to the Greek 
ydoq} For, as %ao? means both abyss and darkness, so gin- 
nnnga-gap seems also to denote the world of mist, out of whose 
bosom all things rose. How the covering and concealing ' hel ' 
was likewise conceived of as 'nifl-keP with yawning gaping jaws, 
has been shewn above, pp. 312-314. 

Yet this void of space had two extremities opposed to one 
another, muspell (fire) the southern, and nifi (fog) the northern ; 
from Muspellsheim proceed light and warmth, from Niflheim 
darkness and deadly cold. In the middle was a fountain Hvergel- 
mir, out of which flowed twelve rivers named elivdga.r. When 
they got so far from their source, that the drop of fire contained 

1 Xdos, from xatVw = OHG. ginan, ON. gina = Lat. hiare; conf. OHG. ginunga, 
hiatus. But we need not therefore read ' gap ginunga,' for the ON. giuna, which 
has now only the sense of allicere, must formerly have had that of findere, secare, 
which is still found in OHG. inginnan, MHG. enginuen (see above, p. 403, Ganna) : 
Otfried iii. 7, 27 says of the barleycorn, ' thoh iindu ih melo thar bine, inthiu ih 
es biginne (if I split it open); inkinnan (aperire), Graff 4, 209; ingunnen (sectus), 
N. Ar. 95. So in MHG., 'sin herze wart ime engunnen ' (fissum), Fundgr. 2, 
268; enginnen (secare), En. 2792. 5722; engunnen (secuerunt), En. 1178. Nearly 
related is ingeinan (fissiculare), N. Cap. 136. From a literal ' splitting open' must 
have arisen the more abstract sense of ' beginning,' Goth, duginnan, AS. onginnan, 
OHG. inkinnan, pikinnan. Then gina hiare, gin hiatus, further suggest gin 
(amplus), and ginregin (p. 320). Singularly Festus, in discussing inchoare, comes 
upon chaos, just as ' begin ' has led us to ginan. Cohus, from which some derive 
incohare= inchoare, is no other than chaos. Fest. sub v. cohum. [Nearly all 
the above meanings appear in derivatives of the Mongol, root khag, khog to crack, 
etc., including khoghoson empty, chaos]. ' Beside ginan, the OHG. has a Chilian 
hiscere (Graff 4, 450), Goth, keinan, AS. cine (rirna, chine, chink). The AS. has 
also a separate word dwolma for hiatus, chaos. — Extr. from Suppl. 



ill them hardened, like the sparks that fly out of flame, they 
turned into rigid ice. Touched by the mild air (of the south), 
the ice began to thaw and trickle : by the power of him who 
sent tho heat, the drops quickened into life, and a man grew out 
of them, Ymir, called Orgelmir by tho Hrimburses, a giant and 
evil of nature. 

Ymir went to sleep, and fell into a sweat, then under his left 
hand grew man and wife, and one of his feet engendered with 
the other a six-headed son; hence are sprung the families of 

But the ice dripped on, and a cow arose, Au&umbla, from 
whose udder flowed four streams of milk, conveying nourishment 
to Ymir. Then the cow licked the salty ice-rocks, and on the 
evening of the first day a man's hand came forth, the second 
day the man's head, the third day the whole man ; he was beau- 
tiful, large, strong, his name was Burl, and his son's name Borr 
(p. 349) - 1 Borr took to him Bestla, the giant Bolfiom's daughter, 
and begat three sons, Offinn, V'dl, Ve (p. 162), and by them was 
the giant Ymir slain. As he sank to the ground, such a quantity 
of blood ran out of his wounds, that all the giants were drowned 
in it, save one, Bergelmir* who with his wife escaped in a Ki5r 
(Seem. 35 b , Sn. 8), and from them is descended the (younger) 
race of giants (see Supp].). s 

The sons of Borr dragged the dead Ymir's body into the mid- 
dle of ginnimga-gap, and created out of his blood the sea and 
water, of his flesh the earth, of his bones the mountains, of his 
teeth and broken bones the rocks and crags. Then they took his 
skull and made of it the sky, and the sparks from Muspellsheim 
that floated about free they fixed in the sky, so as to give light 
to all. The earth was round, and encircled by deep sea/* on 

1 In the Zend system, the firs man proceeds from the haunch of the primeval 
bull Kayomer. 

• Ymir, i.e., Orgelmir, begot Thrti&gelmir, and ho Bergelmir. 

3 The meaning of liiffr has not been ascertained ; elsewhere it stands for 
culens, tuba, here it is supposed to be a mill-chest. The OHG. h'nhini f. menus 
a cradle (Graff 2, 201) as well as pannus, involucrum (swaddling-band), and this 
would fit remarkably well, as some accounts of the Deluge do make the rescued 
child float iii its cradle. True, Snorri speaks nut of a child, hut id' a grown-up 
giant, who sits in the luo'r witli his wife; this may he a later version. [Slav, I6t 
is shallow basket, trough, tray.] 

1 Snorri at all events conceived the earth to be round, he says p. !l ': 'honei 
kringlutt utan, ok J>ar utau um liggr hinn diupi shir.' So in the Lucidarius : ' diou 


whose shore the giants were to dwell ; but to guard the inland 
parts of the earth against them, there was built of Ymir's brows 
a castle, Miffgarft. The giant's brain was thrown into the air. 
and formed the clouds, Sn. 8, 9. 

Ssemund's account 45 b (conf . 33 b ) differs in some points : 

or Ymirs holdi var iorS um scoput, 

enn or sveita sser, 

biorg or beinom, baSmr or ltdri, 

enn or hausi hiniinn, 

enn or hans brdm gerSo bliS regin 

rurSp-arS manna sonom, 

enn or hans heila voro ]mu in harSinoSgo 

sky oil um scoput. 

Here the teeth are not made use of, but we have instead the 
formation of trees out of the giant's hair. 

When all this was done, the sons of Borr went to the seashore, 
and found two trees, out of which they created two human beings, 
Aslcr and Embla. To these OSinn gave soul and life, Vili wit 
and feeling (sense of touch), Ve countenance (colour?), speech, 
hearing and sight, Sn. 10. More exactly in Seem. 3 b : 

unz ]n-ir komo or bvi liSi 

oflgir ok astgir sesir at siisi (uproar) . 

fundo a landi litt megandi 

Ash ok Emblo orloglausa : 

ond (spirit) ]?au ne atto, o'S (mind) hau ne hofSo, 

la (blood) ne lseti, ne lito (colours) gtVSa. 

ond gaf OSinn, 65 gaf Hoenir, 

la gaf LobV ok litu gofta. 

In this account the three ases are named OSinn, Hoenir, LoSr 
(p. 241) instead of OSinn, Vili, Ve (p. 162) ; they come to the 
roaring (of the sea, ad aestum, irapa 6lva Tro\v(j)\ola/3oio 6a- 
\daar)<i), and find Askr and Embla powerless and inert. Then 

welt ist sinwel (spherical), und umbeflozzen mit dem wendelmer, darin swebt die 
erde als daz tutter in dem wizen des eiies ist,' conf. Berthold p. 287, and Wackern. 
Basel MSS. p. 20. The creation of heaven and earth out of the parts of an egg is 
poetically painted in Kalewala, rune 1 (see Suppl.). — 'Indian legend has likewise 
a creation out of the egg, heaven and earth being eggshells, Somadeva 1, 10. Conf. 
the birth of Helen and the Dioscuri out of an egg.'— Extr. from Suppl. 


OSinn endowed them with spirit, Hcenir with reason, Lo5r with 
blood and complexion (see Suppl.). 

The creation of dwarfs is related in two passages which do not 
altogether agree. Sn. 15 tells us, when the gods sat in their 
chairs judging, they remembered that in the dust and the earth 
dwarfs had come alive, as maggots do in meat (see Suppl.). 
They were created and received life first of all in Ymir's flesh. 
By the decree of the gods these maggots now obtained under- 
standing and human shape, but continued to live in the earth 
and in stones. Stein. 2 says on the contrary, that the holy gods 
in their chairs consulted, who should make the nation of dwarfs 
out of Brimir's flesh and his black bones ; then sprang up 
Motsognir, prince of all dwarfs, and after him Durinn, and they 
two formed a multitude of manlike dwarfs out of the earth. 

Taking all these accounts together, it is obvious in the first 
place, that only the men and dwarfs are regarded as being 
really created, while the giants and gods come, as it were, of 
themselves out of chaos. To the production of men and dwarfs 
there went a formative agency on the part of gods ; giants and 
gods, without any such agency, made their appearance under the 
mere action of natural heat and the licking of a cow. Giants 
and gods spring out of a combination of fire with water, yet 
so that the element converted into ice must recover its fluidity 
before it becomes capable of production. The giant and the cow 
drip out of the frost, Buri slowly extricates himself in three days 
from the thawing mass of ice. This dripping origin reminds us 
of some other features in antiquity ; thus, OSinn had a gold ring 
Draupnir (the dripper), from which every ninth night there 
dripped eight other rings of equal weight (Sa3m. 84 a . Sn. GO). 
Sa3m. 195 b speaks, not very lucidly, of a hausi HeiSdraupnis 
(cranio stillantis) ; Styrian legend commemorates a giant's rib 
from which a drop falls once a year (D.S. no. 140). 1 And Eve 
may be said to drip out of Adam's rib. With the giant's birth 
out of ice and rime we may connect the story of the snow-child 
(in the Modus Liebinc), and the influence, so common in our 
fairy-tales, of snow and blood on the birth of a long wished for 
child. All this seems allied to heathen notions of creation, conf. 

1 No doubt the familiar name Ribbentrop is founded on some such tradition. 


Chap. XXX. Also I must call attention to the terms eitrdropi 
Sasm. 35% eitrqvihja Sn. 5, qvikudropi Sn. 6 : it is the vivifying 
fiery drop, and we do bestow on fire the epithet ' living.' Eitr 
is our eiter, OHG. eitar, AS. ator, coming from OHG. eit, AS. 
ad ignis ; and its derivative sense of venenum (poison, (pdpfxatcov) 
seems inapplicable to the above compounds. 

It tallies with the views expressed at p. 316 on the gods having 
a beginning and an end, that in this system of creation too they 
are not described as existing from the first : the god appears in 
ginniingagap after a giant has preceded him. It is true, Snorri 
6 makes use of a remarkable phrase : ' sva at qviknaSi me$ 
krapti ]?ess er til sendi hitann/ the quickening is referred to the 
might of him that sent the heat, as if that were an older eternal 
God who already ruled in the chaos. The statement would have 
more weight, were it forthcoming in the Voluspa or any of the 
Eddie songs themselves ; as it is, it looks to me a mere shift of 
Snorri's own, to account for the presence and action of the heat, 
and so on a par with the formulas quoted in pp. 22-3-4. 1 Buri, 
who is thawed into existence out of ice, to set limits to the rude 
evil nature of the giant that was there before him, shews himself 
altogether an ancestor and prototype of the heroes, whose mission 
it was to exterminate the brood of giants. From him are de- 
scended all the ases, OSinu himself being only a grandson. 

Again, there is no mistaking the distinct methods by which 
giants, gods and men propagate their kind. Only one giant had 
sprung out of ice, he has to beget children of himself, an office 
performed by his hands and feet together, as in other ways also 
the hand and foot are regarded as akin and allied to one another. 2 
Ymir's being asleep during the time is like Adam's sleep while 
Eve was fashioned out of his rib ; Eve therefore takes her rise 
in Adam himself, after which they continue their race jointly. 
How Buri begat Borr we are not informed, but Borr united him- 
self to a giant's daughter, who bore him three sons, and from 
them sprang the rest of the ases. It was otherwise with men, 

1 "We might indeed imagine that regin and ginregin ruled before the arrival 
of the ases, and that this force of heat proceeded from them. But the Edda must 
first have distinctly said so. 

2 Conf. Haupt's Zeitschr. 3, 156-7. Brahma too makes a man out of his own 
arm, Polier 1, 168. 


who were not created singly, like the giant or the god, but two 
at once, man and wife, and then jointly propagate their species. 

While the huge mass of the giant's body supplied the gods 
with materials, so that they could frame the whole world out of 
his different parts, and the dwarfs swarmed in the same giant's 
flesh as worms ; mankind are descended from two trees on the 
seashore, which the gods endowed with breath and perfect life. 
They have therefore no immediate connexion with giants. 

In the uses we see a superior and successful second product, 
in contrast with the first half-bungled giant affair. On the giants 
an undue proportion of inert matter had been expended ; in the 
ases body and soul attained a perfect equilibrium, and together 
with infinite strength and beauty was evolved an informing 
and creative mind. To men belongs a less full, yet a fair, 
measure of both qualities, while dwarfs, as the end of creation, 
form the antithesis to giants, for mind in them outweighs the 
puny body. Our Heldenbuch on the contrary makes the dwarfs 
come into being first, the giants next, and men last of all. 

As the giants originated in the ice of streams that poured out 
of the fountain Huergelmir, we may fairly assume some connexion 
between it and the names Orgelmir, Thvu&gelmir, B&rgehnir. I 
derive gelmir from gialla (stridere), and connect it with the 
OHG. galm (stridor, sonitus). Hvergelmir will therefore mean a 
roaring cauldron ; and the same notion of uproar and din is 
likely to be present in the giants' names, which would support 
the derivation of Yrnir from ymja, p. 532. The reading Orgemlir 
would indeed accord with the notion of great age associated with 
the giant nature (p. 524), but would sever the link between 
giants and the cauldron of chaos. 

Thus far the Scandinavian theory : now to prove its general 

Though the word ginniingagap has no exact parallel in OHG. 
or AS., it may for all that be the thing described in the follow- 
ing verses of the Wessobrunn Prayer : 

Dat gafregin ih mit firahim firiwizzo meista (wisest men), 
dat ero ni was noh lifhimil (earth was not, nor sky), 
noh paum (tree) nohheinig noh pereg (mountain) ni was, 
noh sunna ni scein [noh sterno ni cleiz (glistened)], 


do mano (moon) ni liuhta 110I1 der mareoseo (sea). 

do dar niwiht ni was enteo ni wenteo, 

enti do was der eino ahnalitico Cot (Almighty God alone). 
The last line may sound completely christian, and the preceding 
ones may have nothing directly opposed to christian doctrine ; 
yet the juxtaposition of earth and heaven, tree and mountain, 
sun [and star], moon and sea, also the archaic forms ero (terra), 
ufhimil (ccelum), mareoseo (mare, Goth, marisaivs), which must 
be thrown into the scale, — all have a ring of the Edcla : 

Vara sandr ne S93r, ne svalar unnir, 
idi^S fanz seva ne upphiminn, 
gap var ginnimga, enn gras hvergi. 
sol ]>at ne vissi hvar hon sali atti, 
stiornor ]?at ne visso hvar ]?Eer stafti atto, 
mani ]?at ne vissi hvat hann megins atti. 

The words ' niwiht ni was enteo ni wenteo ' give in roundabout 
phrase exactly the notion of ginnungagap. 1 

These hints of heathenism have gained additional force, now 
that OHG. and OS. songs are found to retain the technical term 
muspilli = ON. muspell ; the close connexion between nifl, Nifl- 
heim, and the Nibelungen so intergrown with our epos (p. 372) does 
not in any case admit of doubt. Now if these two poles of the 
Scandinavian chaos entered into the belief of all Teutonic nations, 
the notion of creation as a whole must have been as widely 
spread. It has been shewn that the Old-German opinion about 
giants, gods, men and dwarfs closely agreed with the Norse ; I 
am now able further to produce, though in inverted order, the 
same strange connexion described in the Edda between a giant's 
body and the world's creation. 

Four documents, lying far apart in respect of time and place 
(and these may some day be reinforced by others) transmit to us 
a notable account of the creation of the first man. But, while 
the Edda uses up the giant's gutted and dismembered frame to 
make a heaven and earth, here on the contrary the whole world 
is made use of to create man's body. 

1 Conf. also Otfr. ii. 1,3: ' er se ioh himil wurti, ioh erda ouli so herti,' and 
the description of chaos in Casdmon 7. 8, particularly the term heolxterseeadn 7, 
11 ; though there is little or nothing opposed to Bible doctrine. Conf. Aristoph. 
Aves 693-J:. 


The oldest version is to be found in the Rituale ecclesiae 
Dunelmensis (Lond. 1839), in which a scribe of the 10th century- 
has interpolated the following passage, an AS. translation being 
interlined with the Latin : 

Octo pondera, de quibus factus JElde pundo, of ]nem aworden 

est Adam, pondus lirni, inde is Adam, pund lames, of bon 

factus (sic) est caro ; pondus aworden is flcesc; pund fires, 

ignis, inde rubens est sanguis of bon read is blod and hat; 

et calidus ; pondus salis, inde pund saltes, of bon sindon salto 

sunt salsae lacrimae ; pondus teltero ; pund beawes, of bon 

roris, unde factus est sudor; aworden is swat; pund blost- 

pondus fioris, inde est varietas mes, of bon is fagung egena; 

ocnlorum ; pondus nubis, inde pund wolcnes, of bon is onstyd- 

est instabilitas merit i um ; pon- fullnisse fiohta ; pund windes, 

dus venti, inde est anliela fri- of bonis orocFcald; pund 1 gefe, 

gida; pondus 1 gratiae, inde est of bon is fioht monnes. 
sensus hominis. 

A similar addition is made to a MS. of the Code of Emsig (Richt- 
hofen, p. 211): — 'God scop thene eresta meneska, thet was Adam, 
fon achta wendem. thet benete fon tha stene, thet flash fon there 
erthe, thet blod fon tha wetere, tha herta fon tha winde, thene 
thochta fon tha wolken, thene suet fon tha dawe, tha lokkar fon 
tha gerse, tha dgene fon there sunna, and tha blerem on (blew 
into him) thene helga 6m (breath), and tha scop he Eva fon 
sine ribbe, Adames liana/ The handwriting of this document 
is only of the 15th cent., but it may have been copied from an 
older MS. of the Emsig Code, the Code itself being of the 14th 

1 This ' pound of grace' comes in so oddly, that I venture to guess an omission 
between the words, of perhaps a line, which described the 8th material. The two 
accounts that follow next, after naming eight material ingredients, bring in the holy 
breath or spirit as something additional, to which this gift of ' grace ' would fairly 
correspond. Another AS. version, given in Scppl., from the Saturn and Solomon 
(Thorpe's Anal. p. 95, ed. Kemble p. 180), is worth comparing: here 'foldaii 
pund' becomes 'flasc, fyres pund bifid, windes p. ceSung, wolcnes p. m 6 
staSelftestnes, gyfe p. fat and gefiang, bldstmena p. edgena missenlicnist, deawes 
p. swdt, sealtes p. teams.' — Here 'gyfe' is right in the middle of tbe sentence: can 
it be, that both 'gefe ' and 'gyfe' are a corruption of Geofon the sea god, gifen the 
sea (supra, p. 239), which in christian times had become inadmissible, perhaps 
unintelligible ? It would be strange if water, except as dew, were made no a 
and the 'sea supplying thought' would agree with the French account, which 
ascribes wisdom to him that has an extra stock of sea in him. — Trans. 


The third passage is contained in a poem of the 12th cent, 
on the four Gospels (Diemer 320, 6-20 ; conf. the notes to 95, 
18. 27, and 320, 6) : 

Got mit siner gewalt 

der wrchet zeichen vil manecvalt, 

der worhte den inennischen einen 

iizzen von aht teilen : 

von dein leime gab er ime daz fleisch, 

der tow becechenit den sweihc (sweat), 

von dem steine gab er itn daz pein (bone), 

des nist zwivil nehein (is no doubt), 

von den wrcen (worts) gab er ime di ddren (veins), 

von dem grase gab er ime daz liar, 

von dem mere gab er ime d^xz plid (blood), 

von den wolchen (clouds) daz mut (mood, mind), 

du habet er ime begunnen 

der ougen (eyes) von der sunnen. 

Er verleh ime sinen atem (his own breath), 

daz wir ime den behilten (keep it for him) 

unte sinen gesin (and be his) 

daz wir ime imer wuocherente sin (ever bear fruit) . 

Lastly, I take a passage from Godfrey of Viterbo's Pantheon, 
which was finished in 1187 (Pistorii Scriptor. 2,53): — ' Cum 
legimus Adam de limo terrae formatum, intelligendum est ex 
quatuor elementis. mundus enim iste major ex quatuor elementis 
constat, igne,aere, aqua et terra, humanum quoque corpus dicitur 
microcosmus, id est minor mundus. habet namque ex terra 
carnem, ex aqua humores, ex aere flaturu, ex igne calorem. caput 
autem ejus est rotundum sicut coelum, in quo duo sunt ocidi, tan- 
quam duo luminaria in coelo micant. venter ejus tanquam mare 
continet omnes liquores. pectus et pulmo emittit voces, et 
quasi coelestes resonat harmonias. pedes tanquam terra sustinent 
corpus universum. ex igni coelesti habet visum, e superiore aere 
habet auditum, ex inferiori habet olfactum, ex aqua gustum, ex 
terra habet tactum. in duritie participat cum lapidibus, in 
ossibus vigorem habet cum arboribus, in capillis et unguibus 
decorem habet cum graminibus et fioribus. sensus habet cum 
brutis animalibus. ecce talis est hominis substantia corporea.' — 


Godfrey, educated at Bamberg 1 , and chaplain to German kings, 
must have heard in Germany the doctrine of the eight parts ; he 
brings forward only a portion of it, such as he could reconcile 
with his other system of the four elements ; he rather compares 
particular parts of the body with natui'al objects, than affirms 
that those were created out of these. 

Not one of the four compositions has any direct connexion 
with another, as their peculiarities prove ; but that they all rest 
on a common foundation follows at once from the ' octo pondera, 
achta wendem, aht teilen/ amoug which the alleged correspond- 
ences are distributed. They shew important discrepancies in 
the details, and a different order is followed in each. Only three 
items go right through the first three accounts, namely, that lime 
(loam, earth) was taken for the flesh, dew for the sweat, clouds 
for the mind. But then the MHG. and Frisian texts travel much 
further together ; both of them make bone spring out of stone, 
hair (locks) from grass, eyes from the sun, blood from the sea 
(water), none of which appear in the AS. Peculiar to the MHG. 
poem is the derivation of the veins from herbs (wiirzen), and to 
the AS. writer that of the blood from fire, of tears from salt, of 
the various colours in the eye from flowers, 1 of cold breath from 
wind, and of sense from grace; which last, though placed 
beyond doubt by the annexed translation, seems an error not- 
withstanding, for it was purely out of material objects that 
creation took place ; or can the meaning be, that man's will is 
first conditioned by the grace of God ? Fitly enough, tears are 
likened to salt (salsae lacrimae) ; somewhat oddly the colours of 
the eye to flowers, though it is not uncommon to speak of an 
opening flower as an eye. The creation of hearts out of wind 
is found in the Frisian account alone, which is also the only one 
that adds, that into this mixture of eiffht materials God blew his 
holy breath, and out of Adam's rib created his companion Eve 
[the MHG. has : ' imparted his breath '] . 3 

1 Variegated eyes are the oculi varii, Prov. vain hnelha (Rayn. sub v. var), 
O.Fr. vain iex (Roquef. sub v.). We find in OHG. bluom/e/j, and ' gevehet nuh 
tien bluomon,' Graff 3, 426 ; the AS. f&gung above. 

- Well, here is already our fifth version, from a Paris MS. of the loth century 
(Paulin Paris, MSS. francais de la bibl. du roi 4, 207) : ' Adam fu forme ou champ 
damacien, et fu fait si comme nous trouvons de huit parties de chases : du Urn m de 
la terre, de la mer, du soleil, des nues, du vent, des pierrea, du saint esprit, et de la 
clarte du monde. De la terre fu la char, de la mer fu le sang, du furent les 


If now we compare all the statements with those taken from 
the Edda, their similarity or sameness is beyond all question : 
blood with sea or water, flesh with earth, bone with stone, hair 
with trees or grass, are coupled together in the same way here. 
What weighs more than anything with me is the accordance of 
f brain and clouds ' with ' thoughts and clouds/ The brain is the 
seat of thought, and as clouds pass over the sky, so we to 
this day have them flit across the mind ; ' clouded brow ' we say 
of a reflective pensive brooding one, and the Grimnismal 45 b 
applies to the clouds the epithet harSinobagr, hard of mood. It 
was quite in the spirit of the Edda to make the skull do for 
the sky, and the eyebrows for a castle ; but how could sky or 
castle have furnished materials for the human frame ? That the 
striking correspondence of the sun to the eye should be wanting 
in the Edda, is the more surprising, as the sun, moon and stars 
are so commonly spoken of as eyes (Superst. 614), and antiquity 
appears even to have seen tongues in them, both of which points 
fall to be discussed in Chap. XXII. ; meanwhile, if these enu- 
merations are found incomplete, it may be that there were plenty 
more of such correspondences passing current. If Tborr flung 
a toe into the sky as a constellation, there may also have been 
tongues that represented stars. 

The main difference between the Scandinavian view and all 
the others is, as I said before, that the one uses the microcosm as 
material for the macrocosm, and the other inversely makes the 
universe contribute to the formation of man. There the whole 
of nature is but the first man gone to pieces, here man is put 
together out of the elements of nature. The first way of think- 
ing seems more congenial to the childhood of the world, it is all 

yeulx, des nues fureut les pensees, du vent fureut les allaines, des pierres furent les 
oz, du saiut esprit fu la vie, la, clarte du monde signifie Crist et sa creance. Saichez 
que se il y a en l'omme plus de limon de la terre, il sera paresceux en toutes man- 
ieres ; et se il y a plus de la mer, il sera sage ; et se il y a plus de soleil, il sera 
beau ; et se il y a plus de nues, il sera pensis ; et se il y a plus du vent, il sera 
ireux ; et se il y a plus de pierre, il sera dur, avar et larron ; et se il y a plus de 
saint esprit, il sera gracieux ; et se il y a plus de la clarte du monde, il sera beaux 

et amez.' These eight items are again somewhat different from the preceding, 

though six are the same : earth, sea, cloud, wind, stone and sun ; the Holy Ghost 
and the light of the world are peculiar, while veins, hair, tears, and motley eyes 
arc wanting. The ' champ damacien ' is ' ager plasmationis Ada?, qui dicitur ager 
damascenus,' 1 conf. Fel. Fabri Evagator, 2, 341. [Is ' du monde' the mistranslation 
of a Germ. ' des mondes,' the moon's ? Like the sun, it bestows ' beauty,' and 
that has nothing to do with Christ, who is however ' the light of the world.' — Tk.J 


in keeping to explain the sun as a giant's eye, the mountains as 
his bones, the bushes as his hair ; there are plenty of legends 
still that account for particular lakes and marshes by the 
gushing blood of a giant, for oddly-shaped rocks by his ribs 
and marrow-bones ; and in a similar strain the waving corn was 
likened to the hair of Sif or Ceres. It is at once felt to be more 
artificial for sun and mountain and tree to be put into requisition 
to produce the human eye and bones and hair. Yet we do speak 
of eyes being sunny, and of our flesh as akin to dust, and why 
may not even the heathens have felt prompted to turn that cos- 
mogonic view upside down ? Still more would this commend 
itself to Christians, as the Bible expressly states that man was 
made of earth or loam, 1 without enlarging on the formation of 
the several constituent parts of the body. None of the Fathers 
seem to be acquainted with the theory of the eight constituents 
of the first man; I will not venture to decide whether it was 
already familiar to heathen times, and maintained itself by the 
side of the Eddie doctrine, or first arose out of the collision of 
this with christian teaching, and is to be regarded as a fuller 
development of the Adamic dogma. If Adam was interpreted 
to mean clay, it was but taking a step farther to explain, more 
precisely, that the flesh only was borrowed from earth, but 
the bones from stones, and the hair from grass. It is almost 
unscriptural, the way in which the MHG. poetizer of Genesis 
(Fundgr. 2, 15) launches out into such minutia; : — f Duo Got 
zeinitzen stucchen den man zesamene wolte rucchen, duo nam er, 
sosich wane, einen leim zahe (glutinous lime), da er wolte daz 
daz lit zesamene solte (wished the limbs to come together), 
streich des unterznisken (smeared it between), daz si zesamene 
mohten haf ten (stick), denselben letten (clay) tot er ze adaren 
(made into veins), uber ieglich lit er zoch denselben leim zach, 
daz si vasto chlebeten, zesamene sich habeten. liz hertem leime 
(hard lime) tet er daz gebeine, uz pruder erde (crumbly earth) 
hiez er daz fleisk werden, liz letten deme zdlien machet er die 
adare. duo er in alien zesamene gevuocte, duo bestreich er in 
mit einer slute (bedaubed him with a slime), diu selbe slote wart 
ze dere hute (became the skin) . duo er daz pilede (figure) erlich 

1 ' Dio leim\nen, i the loamen folk, Geo. 3-409, is said of men, as we say ' e luto, 
ex meliori luto licti.' 


gelegete fare sich, duo stuont er ime werde obe der selben erde. 
sinen geist er in in blies, michelen sin er ime firliez, die adare 
alle wurden pluotes folle, ze fleiske wart diu erde, ze peine der 
leim herte, die adare pugen sich swa zesamene gie daz lit (blew 
bis spirit in, imparted mickle sense, the veins filled with blood, 

the earth became flesh, the hard lime bone, etc.).' These 

distinctions between lime, clay, earth and slime have a tang of 
heathenism ; the poet durst not entirely depart from the creation 
as set forth by the church, but that compoundiug of man out of 
several materials appears to be still known to him. And traces 
of it are met with in the folk-poetry. 1 

It is significant how Greek and, above all, Asiatic myths of 
the creation coincide with the Norse (and what I believe to have 
been once the universal Teutonic) view of the world's origin out 
of component parts of the human body : it must therefore be 
of remote antiquity. The story lasts in India to this day, that 
Brahma was slain by the other gods, and the sky made out of his 
skull : there is some analogy to this in the Greek notion of Atlas 
supporting on his head the vault of heaven. According to one 
of the Orphic poets, the body of Zeus is understood to be the 
earth, his bones the mountains^ and his eyes the sun and moon. 2 
Cochin-Chinese traditions tell, how Buddha made the world out 
of the giant Banio's body, of his skull the sky, of his eyes the 
sun and moon, of his flesh the earth, of his bones rocks and hills, 
and of his hair trees and plants. Similar macrocosms are met 
with in Japan and Ceylon ; Kalmuk poems describe how the 
earth arose from the metamorphosis of a mountain-giantess, the 
sea from her blood (Finn Magn. Lex., 877-8, and Suppl.). 

But Indian doctrine itself inverts this macrocosm, making the 
sun enter into the eye, plants into the hair, stones into the bones, 
and water into the blood of created man, so that in him the 

1 The giants mould a man out of clay (leir), Sn. 109. The Finnish god II- 
marinen hammers himself a wife out of gold, Rune 20. Pintosmauto is baked of 
sugar, spice and scented water, his hair is made of gold thread, his teeth of pearls, 
his eyes of sapphires, and his lips of rubies, Pentam. 5, 3. In a Servian song 
(Vuk no. 110), two sisters spin themselves a brother of red and white silk, they 
make him a body of boxwood, eyes of precious stones, eyebrows of sea-urchins, 
and teeth of pearls, then stuff sugar and honey into his mouth : ' Now eat that, 
and talk to us (to nam yedi, pa nam probesedi) ! ' And the myth of Pygmalion is 
founded on bringing a stone figure to life (see Suppl.). 

2 "O/xfiaTa 5' tj^Xlos re ical dcnowcra creX^vr]. Euseb. II/Doira/)acrK. evayy. 3, 9. 
Lobeck, De microc. et macroc. p. 4. 


whole world is mirrored back. According to a Chaldean cos- 
mogony, when Belus had cut the darkness in twain, and divided 
heaven from earth, he commanded his own head to be struck off, 
and the blood to be let run into the ground; out of this arose 
man gifted with reason. Hesiod's representation is, that Pandora 
was formed by Hephsestua out of earth mingled with water, and 
then Hermes endowed her with speech, "TLpya 61-79. The 
number of ingredients is first reduced to earth and blood (or 
water), then in the 0. T. to earth alone. 

And there are yet other points of agreement claiming our 
attention. As Ymir engendered man and wife out of his hand, 
and a giant son out of his foot, we are told by the Indian Manus, 
that Brahma produced four families of men, namely from his 
mouth the first brahman (priest), from his arm the first kshatriya 
(warrior), from his thigh the first vizh (trader and husbandman), 1 
from his foot the first sudra (servant and artizan). And so, no 
doubt, would the Eddie tradition, were it more fully preserved, 
make a difference of rank exist between the offspring of Ymir's 
hand and those of his foot ; a birth from the foot must mean a 
lower one. There is even a Caribbean myth in which Luguo, 
the sky, descends to the earth, and the first parents of mankind 
come forth from his navel and thigh, in which he had made an 
incision. 2 Reading of these miraculous births, who can help 
thinking of Athena coming out of Zeus's head (rpLToyeveia), and 
Dionysus out of his thigh (^ripoppa^s) ? As the latter was 
called SifujTwp (two-mothered), so the unexplained fable of the 
nine mothers of Heimdallr (p. 234) seems to rest on some 
similar ground (see Suppl.). 

From these earlier creations of gods and giants the Edda and, 
as the sequel will shew, the Indian religion distinguish the crea- 
tion of the first human pair. As with Adam and Eve in Scrip- 
ture, so in the Edda there is presupposed some material to be 
quickened by God, but a simple, not a composite one,. Tre 
means both tree and wood, askr the ash-tree (fraxinus) ; the 
relation of Askr to the Isco of heroic legend has already been 
discussed, p. 350. If by the side of Askr, the man, there stood 

1 E femoribus natus = uravya, urnja, Bopp's Gloss. 54*. 

2 Major's Mythol. tascbenbucb '2, -i. 


an Eskja, the woman, the balance would be held more evenly ; 
they would be related as Meshia and Meshiane in the Persian 
myth, man and woman, who likewise grew out of plants. But 
the Edda calls them Askr and Embla : embla, emla, signifies a 
busy woman, OHG. emila, as in fiur-emila (focaria), a Cinderella 
(Graff 1, 252), from amr, ambr, ami, ambl (labor assiduus), 
whence also the hero's name Amala (p. 370). As regards Askr 
however, it seems worthy of notice, that legend makes the first 
king of the Saxons, Aschanes (Askanius), grow up out of the 
Harz rocks, by a fountain-head in the midst of the forest. See- 
ing that the Saxons themselves take their name from sahs (saxum, 
stone), that a divine hero bears the name of Sahsnot (p. 203), 
that other traditions derive the word Gerinani from gerniinare, 
because the Germans are said to have grown on trees ; 1 we have 
here the possibility of a complex chain of relationships. The 
Geogr. of Ravenna says, the Saxous removed from their ancient 
seats to Britain c cum principe suo, nomine Anahis.' This may 
be Hengist, or still better his son Oesc, whom I have identified 
with Askr. 3 

Plainly there existed primitive legends, which made the first 
men, or the founders of certain branches of the Teutonic nation, 
grow out of trees and rocks, that is to say, which endeavoured 
to trace the lineage of living beings to the half-alive kingdom of 
plants and stones. Even our leut (populus), OHG. Hut, has for 
its root liotan (crescere, pullulare), OS. liud, liodan ; 3 and the 
sacredness of woods and mountains in our olden time is height- 
ened by this connexion. And similar notions of the Greeks fit 
in with this. One who can reckon up his ancestors is appealed 
to with the argument (Od. 19, 163) : 

ov <yap cnrb Spvos eacn 7ra\aicf)dTov ouS tiTro 7rerp?;9 ■ 

for not of fabled oak art thou, nor rock; 4 and there must have 

1 D. S. no. 408. Aventin 18 b ; conf. the popular joke, prob. ancient, on the 
origin of Swabians. Franks and Bavarians, Scbrn. 3, 524. 

2 In the Jewish language, both learned and vulgar, Ashlienaz denotes Ger- 
many or a German. The name occurs in Gen. 10, 3 and Jer. 51, 27 ; how early 
its mistaken use began, is unknown even to J. D. Michaelis (Spicil. geogr. Hebr. 
1, 59) ; it must have been by the 15th century, if not sooner, and the rabbis may 
very likely have been led to it by hearing talk of a derivation of the Germans from 
an ancestor Askanius, or else the Trojan one. 

3 Populus however is unconn. with populus a poplar. 

4 Such an ' e quercu aut saxo natus,' who cannot name his own father, is vul- 


been fairy tales about it, which children told each other in con- 
fidential chat (oapi^e/jievac curb Spvbs ?}5' airb irerp-q^, II. 22, 120. 1 
aXKa Ti7) fMOi ravra 7repl Spvv r) irepl -ireTprjv; Hes. Theog. 35). 
In marked unison with the myth of Askr is the statement of 
Hesiod, that Zeus formed the third or brazen race out of ash- 
trees (e'/c fieXiav, Op. 147) ; and if the allusion be to the stout 
ashen shafts of the heroes, why, Isco or Askr may have bran- 
dished them too. One remembers too those wood-wives and fays, 
who, like the Greek meliads and dryads, had their sole power of 
living bound up with some particular oak or ash, and, unlike the 
tree-born man, had never got wholly detached from the material 
of their origin. Then, a creation out of stones is recorded in 
the story of Deucalion, whom after the deluge Hermes bade 
throw stones behind his back : those that he threw, all turned 
into men, and those that his wife Pyrrha threw, into women. As 
in the Edda, after the great flood comes a new creation ; only in 
this case the rescued people are themselves the actors. 2 Even 
the Jews appear to have known of a mythical creation out of 
stones, for we read in Matth. 3, 9 : ore Svvarac 6 @eo? e'/c rwv 
XiOcov tovt(ov eyelpai riicva ru> Jiftpadfi (see Suppl.). 

The creation of dwarfs is described ambiguously in the Edda : 
according to one story they bred as worms in the proto-giant's 
flesh, and were then endowed by the gods with understanding 
and human shape ; but by the older account they were created 
out of the flesh and bones of another giant Brimir. All this has 
to do with the black elves alone, and must not be extended to 
the ligfht ones, about whose origin we are left in the dark. And 
other mythologies are equally silent. 

It is important and interesting to get a clear view of the grada- 
tion and sequence of the several creations. That in the Edda 
giants come first, gods next, and then, after an intervening deluge, 

garly spoken of as oue ' whose father got drowned on the apple (or nut) tree.'_ Also, 
' not to have sprung from an oak-stem,' Etner's Unw. doct. 585. ' Min gof ist au 
nud abbero nossbom aba choh,' ' and my dad didn't come off the nut-tree,' Tobler 
337 b , who wrongly refers it to the Christmas-tree. 

1 Homer's phrase is : ' chat from oak or rock, as youth and maiden do.'— 

- As Deucalion and Pyrrha create the race of men, so (ace. to a myth in th< 
Reinhartssage, whose source I never could discover) do Adam and Eve create that 
of beasts by smiting the sea with rods. Only, Adam makes the good beasts, Eve 
the bad : so inParsee legend Ormuzd and Ahriman hold a creating match. 


men and dwarfs are created, appears in surprising harmony with 
a theological opinion largely adopted throughout the Mid. Ages, 
according to which, though the 0. T. begins with the work of 
the six days, yet the existence and consequently the creation of 
angels and the apostasy of devils had gone before, and then were 
produced heaven and earth, man and all other creatures. 1 After- 
wards, it is true, there comes also a destructive flood, but does 
not need to be followed by a new creation, for a pious remnant 
of mankind is saved, which peoples the earth anew. The Muham- 
medan eblis (by aphseresis from dieblis, diabolus) is an apostate 
spirit indeed, but created after Adam, and expelled from Para- 
dise. Our Teutonic giants resemble at once the rebel angels 
(devils) and the sinful men swept away by the flood ; here deli- 
verance was in store for a patriarch, there for a giant, who after 
it continues his race by the side of men. A narrative preserved 
in the appendix to our Heldenbuch offers some fragments of 
cosmogony : three creations follow one another, that of dwarfs 
leading the way, after whom come giants, and lastly men ; God 
has called into being the skilful dwarfs to cultivate waste lands 
and mountain regions, the giants to fight wild beasts, and the 
heroes to assist the dwarfs against disloyal giants ; this connexion 
and mutual dependence of the races is worthy of note, though on 
the manner of creating there is not a word. Lastly, the threefold 
arrangement of classes instituted by Heimdallr 3 may, I think, be 
regarded as a later act in the drama of creation, of which perhaps 
a trace is yet to be seen even in modern traditions (p. 234) . 3 

Another thing I lay stress on is, that in the Edda man and 
woman (Askr and Embla) come into existence together, but the 

1 Conf. the poetical representations in Cadmon and Fundgr. 2, 11. 12; of 
course they rest on opinions approved or tolerated by the church. Scripture, in its 
account of the creation, looks only to the human race, leaving angels and giants 
out of sight altogether, though, as the narrative goes on, they are found existing. 

2 The Mid. Ages trace the origin of freemen to Shem, that of knights and serfs 
to Japhet and Ham; Wackern. Bas. MSS. 2, 20. 

3 I have since lighted on a Muhammedan legend in Wolfg. Menzel's Mythol. 
forschungen 1, 40 : Eve had so many children, that she was ashamed, and once, 
when surprised by God, she hid some of them away. God then called the children 
to him, and divided all the goods and honours of the earth among them. Those 
that were hidden got none, and from them are descended beggars and fakirs. 
Unfortunately no authority is given, but the agreement with the German drama of 
the 16th cent, is undeniable, and makes me doubt the supposed connexion of the 
latter with the ON. fable. That the concealed children are nbt called up, is at 
variance with all German accounts. 


Bible makes two separate actions, Adam's creation coming first, 
and Eve's being performed afterwards and in a different manner. 1 
So, by Hesiod's account, there already existed men descended 
from the gods themselves, when the first woman Pandora, the all- 
gifted, fair and false, was formed out of earth and flood (p. 571). 
It is difficult to arrive at the exact point of view in the Hesiodic 
poems. In the Theogony, there ascend out of chaos first Gaia 
(earth) the giantess, then Erebus (corresp. to Niflheim) and 
Night ; but Gaia by herself brought forth Urauus (sky) and seas 
and mountains, then other children by Uranus, the last of them 
Kronus the father of Zeus and ancestor of all the gods. As 
the Edda has a Buri and Borr before Oftinn, so do Uranus and 
Kronus here come before Zeus ; with Zeus and OSinn begins the 
race of gods proper, and Poseidon and Hades complete the fra- 
ternal trio, like Vili and Ve. The enmity of gods and titan3 is 
therefore that of ases and giants ; at the same time, there is just 
as much resemblance in the expulsion of the titans from heaven 
(Theog. 813) to the fall of the rebel angels into the bottomless 
pit ; so that to the giant element in the titans we may add a 
deemonic. When the ' Works and Days' makes the well-known 
five races fill five successive ages, the act of creation must needs 
have been repeated several times ; on which point neither the 
poem itself nor Plato (Cratyl. 397-8, Steph.) gives sufficient 
information. First came the golden race of blissful daimones, 
next the silver one of weaker divine beings, thirdly, the brazen 
one of warriors sprung from ash-trees, fourthly, the race of 
heroes, fifthly, the iron one of men now living. The omission 
of a metal designation for the fourth race is of itself enough to 
make the statement look imperfect. Dimmest of all is the second 
race, which also Plato passes over, discussing only da3mons, heroes 
and men : will the diminutive stature of these shorter-lived genii 
warrant a comparison with the wights and elves of our own 
mythology ? In the third race giants seem to be portrayed, or 
fighters of the giant sort, confronting as they do the rightful 

1 The rabbinic myth supposes a first woman, Lilith, made out of the ground 
like Adam. [The Bible, wo know, has two different accounts of man's creation : 
the first (Elohistic) in Gen. 1, 27, ' male and female created he them ; ' the second 
(Jehovistic) in Gen. 2, 7, ' formed man of the dust,' and in w. 21. 22, ' took one of 
his ribs, . . . and the rib . . . made he a woman' The first account seems to 
imply simultaneous creations.— Teams.] 

576 CREATION. . 

heroes of the fourth. The latter we might in Mosaic language 
call sons of Elohim, and the former sons of men ; at the same 
time, their origin from the ash would admit of their being placed 
beside the first- created men of the Edda. The agreement of the 
myths would be more striking if we might bestow the name of 
stone race on the third, and shift that of brazen, together with 
the creation from the ash, to the fourth ; stones being the natural 
arms of giants. Apollodorus however informs us it was the 
brazen race that Zeus intended to destroy in the great flood from 
which Deucalion and Pyrrha were saved, and this fits in with the 
Scandinavian overthrow of giants. The creation of Askr and 
Etnbla has its parallel in the stone-throwing of the Greek myth, 
and the race of heroes might also be called stone-created (see 

It will be proper, before concluding, to cast a glance at the 
Story of the Deluge : its diffusion among the most diverse nations 
of the earth gives a valuable insight into the nature of these 
myths. 1 

From the sons of God having mingled with the daughters of 
men sprang robbers and wrongdoers ; and it repented Jehovah 
that he had made man, and he said he would destroy everything 
on earth. But Noah found favour in his eyes, and he bade him 
build a great ark, and enter therein with his household. Then 
it began to rain, until the waters rose fifteen cubits above the 
highest mountains, and all that had flesh and breath perished, 
but the ark floated on the flood. Then Jehovah stayed the rain, 
the waters returned from off the earth, and the ark rested on the 
mountains of Ararat. But Noah let out first a raven, then a 
dove, which found no rest for her foot and returned into the ark ; 
and after seven days he again sent forth a dove, which came back 
with an olive leaf in her mouth ; and after yet other seven days 
he sent forth a dove, which returned not any more. 2 Then Noah 
came out on the dry earth, and offered a clean burntoffering, and 

1 Ulph. renders Kara/cW/^s by midjasveipdins, sveipan meaning no doubt the 
same as kXij^iv, to flush, rinse, conf. AS. swapan verrere. Diluvium is in OHG. 
unmezfluot or sinfluot (like sinwaki gurges, MHG. sinwsege) ; not so good is the 
OHCt.' and MHG. sintvluot, and our siindfluth (sin-flood) is a blunder. 

2 Sailors let birds fly, Pliny 6, 22. Three ravens fly as guides, Landnamabok 1, 2. 


Jehovah made a covenant with man, and set his bow in the cloud 
for a token of the covenant. 

After this beautiful compact picture in the O. T., the Eddie 
narrative looks crude and unpolished. Not from heaven does the 
flood rain down, it swells up from the blood of the slain giant, 
whose carcase furnishes material for creating all things, and the 
human race itself. The insolence and violence of the annihilated 
giants resemble those of the sons of Elohim who had mingled 
with the children of men ; and Noah's box (kl(3<ot6s) is like 
Bergebm's HtfSr. But the epic touches, such as the landing on 
the mountain, the outflying dove, the sacrifice and rainbow, would 
surely not have been left out, had there been any borrowing here. 

In the Assyrian tradition, 1 Kronos warns Sisuthros of the 
coming downpour, who thereupon builds a ship, and embarks 
with men and beasts. Three days after the rain has ceased, birds 
are sent out, twice they come flying back, the second time with 
slime on their feet, and the third time they staid away. Sisuthros 
got out first with his wife and daughter and pilot, they prayed, 
sacrificed, and suddenly disappeared. When the rest came to 
land, a voice sounded in the air, saying the devout Sisuthros had 
been taken up to the gods ; but they were left to propagate the 
human race. Their vessel down to recent times lay on the 
mountains of Armenia? Coins of Apamea, a city in Phrygia, 
show an ark floating on the water, with a man and woman in it ; 
on it sits a bird, another comes flying with a twig iu its claws. 
Close by stand the same human pair on firm land, holding up 
their right hands. Beside the ark appear the letters Nil (Noah), 
and this Apamea is distinguished by the by-name of /a/Scoro?. 3 

According to Greek legend, Zeus had determined to destroy 
mankind; at the prompting of Prometheus, Deucalion built an 
ark, which received him and Pyrrha his wife. Zeus then sent a 
mighty rain, so that Hellas was flooded, and the people perished. 
Nine days and nights Deucalion floated on the waters, then landed 
on Parnassus, and offered sacrifice to Zeus; we have seen how 
this couple created a new generation by casting stones. Plutarch 
adds, that when Deucalion let a dove out of the ark, he could tell 

1 Buttmann On the myth of the Deluge, p. 21. 

Oonf. the Annolied 308 seq., which brings the Bavarians from Armenia. 
3 All this in Buttmann, pp. 21-27. 


the approach, of storm by her flying back, and of fair weather by 
her keeping away. Lucian (De dea Syria, cap. 12. 13) calls him 
AevKaktoiva rov 2fcv0ea (the Scythian) ; if that sprang out of 
'XiavOea, 1 it may have long had this altered form in the legend 
itself. Some branches of the Greek race had their own stories 
of an ancient flood, of which they called the heroes Ogyges and 
Ogygos ; 3 but all these accounts are wanting in epic details. 3 

A rich store of these opens for us in the Indian Mahabharata. 4 
King Manus stood on a river's bank, doing penance, when he 
heard the voice of a little fish imploring him to save it. He 
caught it in his hand and laid it in a vessel, but the fish began to 
grow, and demanded wider quarters. Manus threw it into a large 
lake, but the fish grew on, and wished to be taken to Ganga the 
bride of the sea. Before long he had not room to stir even there, 
and Manus was obliged to carry him to the sea ; but when 
launched in the sea, he foretold the coming of a fearful flood, 
Manus was to build a ship and go on board it with the seven 
sages, and preserve the seeds of all things, then he would shew 
himself to them horned. Manus did as he was commanded, and 
sailed in the ship ; the monster fish appeared, had the ship 
fastened to his horn by a rope, and towed it through the sea for 
many years, till they reached the summit of the Himavdn, there 
he bade them moor the ship, and the spot to which it was tied 
still bears the name of Naubandhanam (ship-binding). Then 
spake the fish : I am Brahma, lord of created things, a higher 
than I there is not, in the shape of a fish have I delivered you ; 

i CKT9EA from CICT9EA is Buttmann's acute suggestion ; but he goes 
farther, taking this Sisythes or Sisuthros to be Sesothris, Sothis, Seth ; and Noah 
to be Dionysos, and a symbol of water. 

2 Buttm. p. 45 seq., who connects it with Okeanos and Ogenos. 

3 It is remarkable, that in a beautiful simile, therefore without names or places, 
Homer depicts a kind of Deluge, II. 16, 384 : 

ws 5' iiirb \ai\airi wacra KeXcuvq fteflpide x®uv 
■fjfxa.T owuipivQ), ore XaftpoTarov %^a iiSwp 
Tievs, ore 5r} p &i>8peacri Korea (T&fievos ^aXe^i^r;, 
ot fiiri elv dyopy <r/co\tas Kpivuicn deputTras, 
eK Se Siktjv eXacrwcrt, 6eu>v 6tuv ovk oKiyovres. 
fiLVvdei 5i re epy dvdpum(i)i>. 

Even as crouches the darkening land, overcrowed by tbe tempest, All on a summer's 
day, when Jove doth the down-rushing water Suddenly pour, and wreak his wrath 
on the proud men, Men of might, who sit dealing a crooked doom in the folkmote, 
Forcing justice aside, unheeding of gods and their vengeance ; (rivers swell, etc.) 
and the works of man are all wasted. 

4 Bopp's Die siindflut, Berl. 1S29. 

DELUGE. 579 

now shall Manns make all creatures, gods, asuris and men, and 
all the worlds, things movable and immovable. And as he had 
spoken, so it was done. 

In the Bhagavatam, Satydvratas (supra, p. 249) takes the place 
of Manus, Vishnus that of Brahma, and the facts are embellished 
with philosophy. 

The Indian myth then, like the Teutonic, makes the Deluge 
precede the real creation, whereas in the Mosaic account Adam 
lives long before Noah, and the flood is not followed by a new 
creation. The seven rishis in the ship, as Bopp remarks, are 
of divine rather than human nature, sons of Brahma, and of an 
older birth than the inferior gods created by Manus or their 
enemies the asuris (elsewhere daityas and danavas = titans, 
giants). But it is a great point gained for us, that Manus (after 
whom manushyas, homo, is named) comes in as a creator; so 
that in our German Mannus (whence manna and manniskja, 
homo) we recognise precisely Borr and his creator sons (p. 349). 
Askr and Embla are simply a reproduction of the same idea of 
creation, and on a par with Deucalion and Pyrrha, or Adam and 

I must not pass over the fact, that the first part of the Indian 
poem, where Brahma as a fish is caught by Manus, and then 
reveals to him the future, lingers to this day in our nursery tale 
of the small all-powerful turbot or pike, who gradually elevates 
a fisherman from the meanest condition to the highest rank'; and 
only plunges him back into his pristine poverty, when, urged by 
the counsels of a too ambitious wife, he desires at last to be 
equal with God. The bestowal of the successive dignities is in 
a measure a creation of the different orders. 1 

One more story of the Deluge, which relates the origin of the 
Lithuanians, deserves to be introduced. 2 When Pramzimas the 
most high god looked out of a window of his heavenly house 
(like Wuotan, p. 135) over the world, and perceived nothing but 
war and wrong among men, he sent two giants Wandu and 
Weyas (water and wind) upon the sinful earth, who laid all 
things waste for twenty nights and days. Looking down once 

1 Conf. the capture of the soothsaying marmennil, p. 434. 

2 Dzieje starozytue narodu Litewskiego, przez Th. Narbutta. Wilno 1835. 
1, 2. 


more, when he happened to be eating celestial nuts, Prarnzirnas 
dropt a nutshell, and it lighted on the top of the highest moun- 
tain, to which beasts and several human pairs had fled for refuge. 
They all climbed into the shell, and it drifted on the flood which 
now covered all things. But God bent his countenance yet a 
third time upon the earth, and he laid the storm, and made the 
waters to abate. The men that were saved dispersed themselves, 
only one pair remained in that country, and from them the 
Lithuanians are descended. But they were now old, and they 
grieved, whereupon God sent them for a comforter (linxmine) 
the rainbow, who counselled them to leap over the earth's bones : 
nine times they leapt, and nine couples sprang up, founders of 
the nine tribes of Lithuania. This incident reminds us of the 
origin of men from the stones cast by Deucalion and Pyrrha ; and 
the rainbow, of the Bible account, except that here it is intro- 
duced as a person, instructing the couple what to do, as Hermes 
(the divine messenger) did Deucalion. It were overbold perhaps 
to connect the nutshell with that nut-tree (p. 572-3), by which 
one vao-uely expresses an unknown extraction. 

Not all, even of the stories quoted, describe a universal deluge 
desolating the whole earth : that in which Deucalion was rescued 
affected Greece alone, and of such accounts of partial floods 
there are plenty. Philemon and Baucis in Phrygia (where Noah's 
ark rested, p. 577), had given shelter to the wayfaring gods, and 
beino- warned by them, fled up the mountain, and saw themselves 
saved when the flood rose over the land (Ovid. Met. 8, 620) ; 
they were changed into trees, as Askr and Embla were trees. 
A Welsh folktale says, that in Brecknockshire, where a large 
lake now lies, there once stood a great city. The king sent his 
messeno-er to the sinful inhabitants, to prove them; they heeded 
not his words, and refused him a lodging. He stept into a 
miserable hut, in which there only lay a child crying in its cradle 
(conf. ludara, p. 559 n.) ; there he passed the night, and in going 
away, dropt one of his gloves in the cradle. He had not left the 
city long, when he heard a noise and lamentation ; he thought of 
turning back to look for his glove, but the town was no longer to 
be seen, the waters covered the whole plain, but lo, in the midst 
of the waves a cradle came floating, in which there lay both child 
and glove. This child he took to the king, who had it reared as 

DELUGE. 581 

the sole survivor of the sunken city. 1 Conf. the story of Bold at 
the end of Ch. XXXII. Another and older narrative, found even 
in the British Triads, comes much nearer to those given above : 
AVhen the lake of Llion overflowed and submerged all Britain, 
the people were all drowned save Bivyvan and Dwyvach, who 
escaped in a naked (sailless) ship, and afterwards repeopled the 
land. This ship is also named that of Nevydd nav neivion, and 
had on board a male and female of every creature ; again it is 
told, that the oxen of Hu Gadarn dragged the avanc (beaver) 
ashore out of the Llion lake, and it has never broken out since. 3 

Of still narrower limits are our German tales, as that of the 
dwarf seeking a lodging at Kalligen on L. Thun (no. 45), which 
is very like the Philemon-myth; of Arendsee (no. Ill), where 
again only a husband and wife are saved; of Seeburg (no. 131) ; 
and Frauensee (no. 239). A Danish folktale is given by Thiele 
1, 227. Fresh and graceful touches abound in the Servian lay of 
the three angels sent by God to the sinful world, and the origin 
of the Plattensee or Balatino yezero, Vuk 4, 8-13 (2nd ed. 1, 
no. 207). 3 

There is above all a dash of German heathenism about the 
lakes and pools said to have been formed by the streaming blood 
of giants (Deut. sag. no. 325), as the destructive Deluge arose 
from Ymir's blood. 

It appears to me impossible to refer the whole mass of these 
tales about the great Flood and the Creation of the human species 
to the Mosaic record, as if they were mere perversions and dis- 
tortions of it ; the additions, omissions and discrepancies peculiar 
to almost every one of them are sufficient to forbid that. And 
I have not by a long way exhausted this cycle of legends (see 
Suppl.) : in islands of the Eastern Archipelago, in Tonga and 
New Zealand, among Mexicans and Caribs there start up ac- 
counts, astonishingly similar and yet different, of creation and 
the first human pair, of a flood and deliverance, and the murder 
of a brother. 4 

1 Edw. Davies's Brit. Mythol. 146-7. 

2 Ibid. 95. 129. Villemarque, Contes bretons 2, 291. Mabinogion 2, 311. 381. 

3 Solo example of a Deluge- story among Slavs, by whom cosmogonic ideas in 
general seem not to have been handed down at all. 

' W. von Humboldt's Kawisprache 1, 210. 3, 419. Major's Mythol. taschenb. 
2, 5. 131. 


From gods, half-gods and heroes, from the whole array of 
friendly or hostile beings that, superior to man in mind or 
body, fill up a middle space betwixt him and deity, we turn our 
glance to simple phenomena of nature, which at all times in their 
silent greatness wield an immediate power over the human 
mind. These all-penetrating, all-absorbing primitive substances, 
which precede the creation of all other things and meet us again 
everywhere, must be sacred in themselves, even without being 
brought into closer relation to divine beings. Such relation is 
not absent in any mythology, but it need not stand in the way 
of the elements receiving a homage to some extent independent 
of it and peculiar to themselves. 

On the other hand, it is not the religion, properly speaking, of 
a nation, that ever springs from the soil of this elemental worship ; 
the faith itself originates in a mysterious store of supersensual 
ideas, that has nothing in common with those substances, but 
subjugates them to itself. Yet faith will tolerate in its train 
a veneration of elements, and mix it up with itself ; and it may 
even chance, that when faith has perished or is corrupted, this 
veneration shall keep its hold of the people longer. The multi- 
tude will give up its great divinities, yet persist for a time in the 
more private worship of household gods; even these it will 
renounce, and retain its reverence for elements. The history of 
the heathen and christian religions shews, that long after the one 
was fallen and the other established, there lived on, nay there 
live still, a number of superstitious customs connected with the 
worship of elements. It is the last, the all but indestructible 
remnant of heathenism ; when gods collapse, these naked sub- 
stances come to the front again, with which the being of those 
had mysteriously linked itself (see Suppl.). 

To this effect I have already expressed myself (pp. 82-84) in 



speaking of a worship of nature by our ancestors, which is indeed 
supported by early testimonies, but these are often perverted 
into an argument against the heathen having had any gods. 
The gods stood and fell from other causes. 

Water the limpid, flowing, welling up or running dry; Fire 
the illuminating, kindled or quenched ; Air uuseen by the eye, 
but sensible to ear and touch ; Earth the nourishing, out of 
which everything grows, and into which all that has grown dis- 
solves; — these, to mankind from the earliest time, have appeared 
sacred and venerable ; ceremonies, transactions and events in 
life first receive their solemn consecration from them. Working 
as they do with never-resting activity and force on the whole of 
nature, the childlike man bestows on them his veneration, without 
any particular god necessarily intervening, though he too will 
commonly appear in combination with it. Even to-day the 
majesty and might of these eldest born of things awakes our 
admiration ; how could antiquity have forborne its astonishment 
and adoration ? Such a worship is simpler, freer and more dig- 
nified than a senseless crouching before pictures and idols. 

All the elements are cleansing, healing, atoning, and the proof 
by ordeal rests mainly upon them ; but man had to secure them 
in their purest form and at the most seasonable times. 

We will consider them one by one. 

1. Water. 1 

Passages proving that the Alamanns and Franks worshipped 
rivers and fountains are cited at pp. 100-1 and in the Appendix. 2 

1 Goth, vato, ON. vatn, OHG. icazar, OS. icatar, AS. wceter, Dan. vand, Slav. 
vodd, Lith. wandu, Lett, uhdens, Gr. i)Swp; then, corresp. inform to Lat. aqua, but 
meaning fluvius, Goth, ahva, OHG. aha, AS. ed, ON. a ; the Goth, vegs, OHG. 
wdc waK r es = fluctus, flow. 

2 When here and elsewhere I use Bp. Burchard's Coll. of Decrees as authority 
for German superstitions, I do not forget that in most cases (not all) it is drawn 
from councils not held in Germany, but in Gaul, Italy or Spain. Yet, if we con- 
sider that German nations had been spreading themselves all over those countries 
down to the 8-9th cent., that the AS. and Lombard Laws, to say nothing of 
Capitularies, declaim equally with those Decrees of Council against water, tree and 
stone worship, that Agathias and Gregory of Tours expressly charge the Alamanns 
and Franks with such worship ; these superstitions are seen to be something com- 
mon to the Italian, Gallic and German nationalities, of which none of them can be 
acquitted. Some have tried to make out from Agathias, that our forefathers had 
a mere nature-worship, and no gods. It would be about as uncritical to do what 
is to some extent the reverse, and suspect Agathias and Gregory of having adopted 
their assertions out of church-prohibitions that were never meant for Germany at 



The people prayed on the river's bank ; at the fountain's brink 
they lighted candles and laid down sacrificial gifts. It is called 
'fontibus venerationem exhibere, ad fontanas adorare (conf. Legg. 
Liutpr. 6, 30), ad fontes votum facere, reddere, exsolvere, ox-are 
ad fontes, offerre ad fontes, munus deferre, ad fontes lumiuaria 
facere, candelam deferre.' This last no doubt was done only or 
chiefly at night, when the flame reflected from the wave would 
excite a religious awe. 1 The Saxons also were fonticolae : wyllas 
and flotwceter are named in the AS. laws as objects of rever- 
ence. Beside the passage from Cnut (p. 102), the Poenitentiale 
Ecgberti says 2, 22 : ' gif hwilc man his eelinessan gehate oSSe 
bringe to hwilcon wylle'; 4, 19 : ' gif hwa his wseccan set senigum 
wylle hsebbe (vigilias suas ad aliquem fontem habeat) ' ; the 
Canones Edgari § 16 forbid wilweor&wnga (well-worship). I am 
not sure that a formal worship of water in Scandinavia is implied 
in the saga quoted above (p. 102), where votn is mentioned; 
but that water was held sacred is a thing not to be doubted. 
A lay in the Edda has near the beginning the remarkable words : 
' hnigo heilog votn af himinfiollom/ fell holy waters from heaven's 
hills. The Sclaveni as early as Procopius (B. Goth. 3, 14) 
(reftov<TL 7roTajjLOv<; (worship rivers) ; and as late as Helmold 
(1, 47) it is said of the Slavs at Faldera : lucorum et fontium 
ceterarumque superstitionum multiplex error apud eos habetur 
(see Suppl.). 

Above all was the place honoured, where the wondrous element 
leaps up from the lap of earth ; a spring is in our older speech 
urspriuc (-ges), and also prunno? 

Often enough the first appearing of a spring is ascribed to 
divine agency or a miracle : Wuotan, Balder, Charles the Great, 
each made the reviving fountain flow out of earth for his fainting 
host (p. 226). Other springs are charmed out of the rock when 
struck by a staff or a horse's hoof ; 3 a saint plants a bough in 

all. Into secular codes such prohibitions seem to have found their way first 
through the Capitularies ; the older codes had no penalties for idolatry, only the 
AS. domas of Wihtroed cap. 13 impose them on deofolgild in general. 

1 At Christmas people look into their wells with candles. 

2 From prinnan (ardere), as sot, another word for well, comes from siodan 
(fervere), welle (liuctus) from wallan (fervere), sual (subfrigidus) from suelan (ardere), 
conf. Gramm. 2, 29. 34 ; sprudeln to bubble up is from spruhen to fly off as sparks 
do. In such words fire and water get wedded together. 

3 The Heliconian horse-fount {i-mroKpTjvr]) was struck open by Pegasus : ' novi 


the ground, and water bubbles up. But there are two theories 
even more generally received : that the water of sacred brooks 
and rivers is in the first instance poured by gods and superior 
beings out of bowls or urns; and that springs and wells are 
guarded by snakes or dragons lying near them (see Suppl.). 

Water drawn at a holy season, at midnight, before sunrise, 
and in solemn silence, bore till a recent time the name of heilawdc, 
lieilwdc, heilwcege. The first form, retaining the connecting 
vowel after a long syllable, proves the antiquity of the word, 
whose sacred meaning secured it against change. MS. 2, 149 b : 
' man seit (saith) von heilawdge uns vil, wie heil, wie guot ez si, 
wie gar vollekomen der eren spil, wie gar sin kraft verheilet swaz 
wundes an dem man verseret ist/ how good for healing wounds, 
etc. Martina 116: 'Got, du froude fliizzic heilawdc,' and in a 
like sense 248. 283. Applied to Christ and his cross, Mar. 224 : 
'der boum ist gemeizzen, da daz heilwcege von bechumet, daz aller 
werlte gefrumet/ the tree whence cometh h. And more gener- 
ally, ' ein heilwdge,' Diut. 1, 352 ; much later, in Anshelm's 
Chron. of Bern 1, 308, ' heilwag ' among other charms and magic 
appliances. Lastly, in Phil, von Sittewald (Strasb. 1677) 1, 
483 : ' running spring-water, gathered on holy Christmas night, 
while the clock strikes twelve, and named heilwag, is good for 
pain of the navel/ Superst. 804. In this heilawac we discover 
a very early mingling of heathen customs with christian. The 
common people believe to this very day, that at 12, or between 
11 and 12, on Christmas or Easter night, spring-water changes 
into wine (Superst. 54. 792), 1 Wieselgren p. 412 ; and this belief 
rests on the supposition that the first manifestation of the 
Saviour's divinity took place at the marriage in Cana, where he 
turned water into wine. Now at Christmas they celebrated both 
his birth (epiphany, theophany, p. 281) and his baptism, and 
combined with these the memory of that miracle, to which was 

fontit Dura medusrci quem pnepetis ungula rupit,' Ov. Met. 5, 257 seq. So the 
vein of gold in a hill is laid open by a blow from a hoof. Ithea opens a spring in 
Arcadia with her staff : 

dvravvaaaa 6ea fiiyav vipbOi 7T?5x 1 "' 
ck 5' ^x eev V-tya- Xtuf* - Callimach. hy. Jov. 28. 
1 /dm ehen eines weibes (her ten marriages), Leipz. 1735, p. 235. 


given a special name, bethphania. 1 As far back as 387, Chry- 
sostom preaching an Epiphany sermon at Antioch says that 
people at that festival drew running water at midnight, and kept 
it a whole year, and often two or three (no doubt for thaumaturgic 
uses), and it remained fresh and uncorrupted. 2 Superstitious 
Christians then believed two things, a hallowing of the water at 
midnight of the day of baptism, and a turning of it into wine 
at the time of the bethphania : such water the Germans called 
heilawdc, 3, and ascribed to it a wonderful power of healing diseases 
and wounds, and of never spoiling (see Suppl.). 

Possibly even in Syria an old pagan drawing of water became 
veiled under new christian meanings. In Germany other cir- 
cumstances point undisguisedly to a heathen consecration of 
water : it was not to be drawn at midnight, but in the morn- 
ing before sunrise, down stream and silently (Superst. 89. 775), 
usually on Easter Sunday (775-6) to which the above explana- 
tions do not so well apply ; this water does not spoil, it restores 
youth, heals eruptions, and makes the young cattle strong. 4 
Magic water, serving for unchristian divination, is to be collected 
before sunrise on a Sunday in one glass from three flowing springs ; 
and a taper is lighted before the glass, as before a divine being 
(Superst. H. c. 55-57) . 5 Here I bring in once again the Hessian 

i The first manifestation of Christ was his birth, the second his baptism 
(Candlemas), the third the marriage in Cana : 'Tertia apparitio fuit postea similiter 
eodem die anno revoluto, cum esset 30 annorum et 13 dierum, sive quando 
manifestavit se esse Deum per mutationem aquae in vinum, quod fuit primum 
miraculum apertum, quod Dominus fecit in Cana Galilaeae, vel simpliciter primum 
quod fecit. Et haec apparitio dicitur bethphania a jBtitw, quod est domus, et (pdveiv, 
quod est apparitio, quia ista apparitio facta fuit in dorno in nuptiis. De his tribus 
apparitionibus fit solemnitas in hac die.' Durantis Eation. div. offic. 6, 16. The 
church consolidated the three manifestations into one festival. 

2 Tom. 2 (ed. Montfauc, Paris 1718), p. 369 : Bid tol tovto /cat fieaovvKTiix) Kara. 
tt\v eopTr/v rai/TTju aVarres vdpeuadfJ.ei'oi ot/ca5e rd ra/xara aTroridevTai, /cat els iviavTOV 
6\oK\r]pov (pv\d.TTOVffi, are 5tj crip.epov dyiaade'i'Twv t&v vbdroiv /cat to arjp.eiov -yt'eerat 
ivapyes, ov bt.atpdeipop.i'vTis ttjs twi> vo&twv ineivuiv <pvcreus rw ,1177/cet rod xpopoi', <*A\ 
eis iviavrbv 6\6i<\r)pov /cat 8vu) /cat rpia fry) rod a-qp.epov avrXTjde'vTos aKepalov ko.1 
veapov p.e'vovTOS, /cat /xerd touovtov XP° V0V to ' s &pTi tu>v irTjywv e^apTraadelcnv vdaaiv 

3 And abo heilaivm ? Frauenlob MS. 2, 213 b on the ' garden that bear8 
heilwin: Altd. bl. 2, 294. 

4 Jul. Schmidt's Eeichenf. p. 121. At Cassel I have heard bathing in the 
' drusel ' water commended as wholesome, but you must draw with the current, not 
against. Probably the right time for it is Walburgis or Midsummer. 

5 The rite, like others cited by Hartlieb (who wrote in 1455), may be of classic 
origin. In yaarpop-avTeia, i.e. divining by a bellied jar (yda-rp-r]) filled with water, 
there also occurs the torch and the innocent boy (Hartl.'s ' ain rain kind '). Potter*s 
Antiq., 1, 764. Fabricii Bibliogr. antiq., ed. 3, p. 600. 


custom mentioned at p. 58 : on Easter Monday youths and 
maidens walk to the Hollow Rock in the mountains, draw water 
from the cool spring in jugs to carry home, and throw flowers in 
as an offering. Apparently this water- worship was Celtic like- 
wise; the water of the rock-spring Karnant makes a broken 
sword whole again, but 

du muost des urspringes han 

underm velse, e in beschin der tac (ere day beshine it) . 

Parz. 254, 6. Tit. 5456. 5732. 1 Curious customs shew us in 
what manner young girls in the Pyrenees country tell their own 
fortunes in spring ivater on May-day morning. 

We need not suppose that the peculiar properties of medicinal 
springs are the point here ; no, it is the normal efficacy of the 
refreshing, strengthening, re-animating element. 3 Many places 
in Germany are called Heilbrunn, Heilborn, Heiligenbrunn, from 
the renewing effect of their springs, or the wonderful cures that 
have taken place at them. Heilbronn on the Neckar is called 
Heilacprunno in the oldest documents. 3 But certain springs and 
wells may have stood in especial repute. Of high renown are 
the ON. Mimisbmnnr and Urffarbrnnnr (p. 407), which Sn. 17 
calls ' brunnr mioc heilagr.' A Danish folksong (1,318) tells of a 
Maribohilde, by whose clear waters a body hewn in pieces is put to- 
gether again. Swedish lays celebrate Ingemos kiilla (Vis. 1, 244-5). 
We remember that old Frisian fount of Forseti, 'whence none 
drew water save in silence,' pp. 229, 230 (see Suppl.). Sacrifices 
were offered at such springs. Of the salutary effect of hot and 
dud i/beate springs people must have been aware from immemorial 
time, witness the Aquae Mattiacae in the Roman time and those 

i The hardening and repair in ft of swords in vater (sverS hei"5a, Srem. 136*) 
was certainly believed in by the Germans too. The Vilkinasaga, cap. 40 p. 100, 
savs: when dwarf Alberich had fashioned Nailring, he searched nine kingdoms 
before he found the water in which the sword could be tempered ; at last he arrived 
at the water Treya, and there it was tempered. Our Eckenlied, str. 81, agrees with 
this, but is still more precise: ' dannoch was ez niht vollebraht, do fuorten'z zwei 
wildiu getwerc wol durch niun kiinecrlche, biz daz si kamen zuo der Drdl, din dS 
7.v Troige rinnet, daz swert daz was so liehtgemal: si harten'z in der Drdle, des 
wart ez als6 fin ' (dwarfs bring it to the Dral, that runs by Troige, etc.). Who can 
doubt any Longer of real German lays forming the groundwork of the Vilk. saga? 

2 A man bitten by an adder will not die, if he can leap over the nearest water 
before the adder does so. Lcnz's Schlangenkuntle, p. 208. 

3 B5hmer'B Reg. Karolor. nr. 740 (an. 841); Ecc. Fr. orient. 2, 893; 'der 
Keeker vliuzet fiir Heilicbrunnen (flows past Holy-wellj,' MS. 2, 68 b . 


1 aquae calidae' near Luxeuil (p. 83). When the Wetterau 
people begin a new jug of chalybeate, they always spill the first 
drop or two on the ground, they say ' to clear the dust away/ 
for the jugs stand open, but it may have been once a libation to 
the fountain-sprite. 1 Not only medicinal, but salt springs were 
esteemed holy : ancient accounts of these will be presented in a 
later chapter. The Mid. Ages cherished the notion of a jung- 
brunnen : 2 whoever bathes in it is both cured of diseases and 
guarded from them ; in it Rauchels shed her shaggy skin, and 
became the beauteous Sigeminne (p. 433-4) ; such a spring has 
sometimes the power even to change the bather's sex (see 
Suppl.). 3 

In a spring near Nogent men and women bathed on St. 
John's eve (Superst. L. 33); Holberg's comedy of Kilde-reisen 
is founded on the Copenhagen people's practice of pilgriming to 
a neighbouring spring on 8. Hans often, to heal and invigorate 
themselves in its waters. On Midsummer eve the people of 
Ostergotland journeyed according to ancient custom to Lagman's 
bergekiilla near Skeninge, and drank of the well (Broocman 1, 
187. 2, 676). In many parts of Germany some clear fountain is 

1 Where the Heathens ascribed the miraculous power of a spring to their wood 
or water sprites, the Christians afterwards transferred it to their saints. I take an 
instance from the Miracula S. Agili, written in the 12th century: Marvellous cures 
were wrought at the brook of St. Aailus. Sed interim quorundarn vesaniae occur- 
rere libet, qui in digito Dei nequaquam haec fieri aestimantes, daemoniacae, pro 
nefas, attribuunt potestati. Cumque miracula diffiteri nequeunt, id solum in 
causam calumniae adsumunt, quod in agresti fiunt loco, ubi nullus Dei cultus, ubi 
nullae sanctorum memoriae. prudentiam ! verentur homines sublimi ingenio, 
ne ad ludibrium mortalium afaunis, nymphis vel satyris, ceterisve rim's numinibus, 
res geratur ejusmodi. Nam ut de fabulis taceam, apud quos historiographorum 
veterum seu modernorum legitur daemones visum coecis, mentem amentibus, 
manus debilibus, gressum claudicantibus restaurasse? (Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 333.) 
Tbe Swedish people ascribe the healing power of some springs to white snakes. In 
1809 there flocked thousands from Halland and Vestergotland to the wonder-work- 
ing Helsjo, a small lake near Eampegarde ; they said, some children tending cattle 
on the shore had often during the year seen a beautiful maiden sit on the bank, 
holding a snake in her hand and shewing it to them. It is only every hundredth 
year that tbis water-maiden with the snake appears (Bexell's Halland 2, 320 ; 3, 
303). Multitudes from Norway and Halland visited a spring named S. Olafskialla, 
dropt money-offerings in, and carried on other superstition (Odman's Bahuslan p. 
169). In christian times healing fountains are believed to spring up near the 
tombs of holy men, Bex. Hall. 3, 69 ; or from under a saint's body, Flodoard. re- 
mens. 2, 3. I think it is with the hot baths at Aix that we must connect the ivater- 
maiden with whose myth Charles the Great is mixed up, p. 435. 

2 Synonymously the OHG. quecprunno, MHG. quecprunne, Parz. 613, 9. 
Fragm. 18, 267. 

3 Conf. the passages quoted in Mus. fur altd. lit. 1, 260-3 from Montevilla,, 
from the Titurel and from H. Sachs. 


visited at Whitsuntide, and the water drunk in jugs of a peculiar 
shape. Still more important is Petrarch's description of the 
annual bathing of the women of Cologne in the Rhine : it de- 
serves to be quoted in full, 1 because it plainly proves that the 
cult prevailed not merely at here and there a spring, but in 
Germany's greatest river. From the Italian's unacquaintance 
with the rite, one might infer that it was foreign to the country 
whence all church ceremonies proceeded, and therefore altogether 
unchristian and heathenish. But Petrarch may not have had 
a minute knowledge of all the customs of his country; after his 
time at all events we find even there a lustration on St. John's 
day [described as an ancient custom then dying out] . Benedict 
de Falco's Descrizione de luoghi antiqui di Napoli (Nap. 1580) 
has the statement: c in una parte populosa della citta giace la 
chiesa consegrata a S. Giovan battista, chiamata S. Giovan a 
mare. Era una antica usanza, hoggi non al tutto lasciata, che 
la vigilia di 8. Giovane, verso la sera e '1 securo del di, tutti 
huomlni e donne andare al mare, e nudi lavarsi ; persuasi pur- 
garsi de loro peccati, alia focchia degli antichi, che peccando 
andavano al Tevere lavarsi.' And long before Petrarch, in 
Augustine's time, the rite was practised in Libya, and is de- 

1 Franc. Petrarchae De relras familiar, epistolae, lib. i. ep. 4: Aquis digressum, 
seel prius, uncle ortum oppidi nomen putant, aquis bajano more tepentibus ablutum, 
excepit Agrippina Colonia, quae ad sinistrnm Rheni latus sita est, locus et situ et 
flumine clams et populo. Mirum in terra barbarica quanta civilitas, quae urbis 
species, quae virorum gravitas, quae munditiae matronarum. Forte Johannis 
baptistae vigilia erat duru illuc applicui, et jam ad occidentem sol vergebat : con- 
festim amicorum monitu (nam et ibi amicos prius mibi fama pepererat quam 
meritum) ab hospitio traducor ad rluvium insigne spectaculum visurus. Nee 
fallebar; omnia enim ripa praeclaro et ingenti mulierum agmine tegebatur. Ob- 
stupui, dii boni, quae forma, quae facies, quis habitus ! amare potuisset quisquis 
eo non praeoccupatum animum attulisset. In loco paullum altiore constiteram, 
unde in ea quae gerebantur intenderem. Incredibilis sine offeusione ooncursiia 
exat, vicissimque alacres, pars herbis odoriferis incmctae, reductisque post cubitum 
manicis, Candidas in gurgite manus ox brachia lavabant, nescio quid blandum pere- 
grine murmure colloquentes. [A few lines omitted.] Unum igitur ex eo [amicorum] 
numero admirane et ignarus rerum percunctatus vergiliano illo versiculo : ' Quid 
vult concursus ad amnem, quidve petunt animae?' responsum accepi : pervetustum 
gentis ritum esse, vulgo persuasum, praesertim femineo, omnem totius anni calamita- 
tem imminentem fluviali illius diei ablutione purgari, et deinceps laetiora succedere; 
itaque lustrationem esse annua m, iinxbaustoque semper studio cultam colendanique. 
Ad haec ego subridens : ' nimium felices ' inquam ' Rheni accolae, quoniani illn 
miserias purgat, nostras quidem nee Padus unquam purgare valuit neo Tiberis. Vos 
vi Btra mala Britannia llbeno vectore transmittitis ; nos nostra libenter Afris atipie 
Dlyriis mitteremus, sed nobis (ut iutelligi datur) pigriora sunt ilumina.' Commoto 
risu, sero tandem inde discessimus. [A few lines omitted.] The letter is of 1830, 
and addressed to Card. Colonna. We rind it quoted so early as by Kaisersberg 
(Omeiss 3o c ). 


nounced by that Father as a relic of paganism : ' natali Johannis, 
de solemnitate superstitiosa pagana, Cliristiani ad mare veniebant, 
et se baptizabant' (Opp., Paris 1683, torn. 5, p. 903); and again: 
' ne ullus in festivitate S. Johannis in fontibas aut paludibus aut 
in fluminibus, nocturnis aut matutinis horis se lavare praesurnat, 
quia haec infelix consuetudo adhuc de Pagan orum observation e 
remansit' (Append, to torn. 5 p. 462). Generally sanctioned by 
the church it certainly was not, yet it might be allowed here and 
there, as a not unapt reminder of the Baptizer in the Jordan, 
and now interpreted of him, though once it had been heathen. 
It might easily come into extensive favour, and that not as a 
christian feast alone : to our heathen forefathers St. John's day 
would mean the festive middle of the } 7 ear, when the sun turns, 
and there might be many customs connected with it. I confess, 
if Petrarch had witnessed the bathing in the river at some small 
town, I would the sooner take it for a native rite of the ancient 
Germani ; at Cologne, the holy city so renowned for its relics, I 
rather suspect it to be a custom first introduced by christian 
tradition (see Suppl.). 1 

There are lakes and springs whose waters periodically rise and 
fall : from either phenomenon mischief is prognosticated, a death, 
war, approaching dearth. When the reigning prince is about to 
die, the river is supposed to stop in its course, as if to indicate its 
grief (Deut. sag. no. 110) ; if the well runs dry, the head of the 
family will die soon after (no. 103). A spring that either runs 
over or dries up, foreboding dearth, is called hunger quelle, hunger- 
brunnen (Staid. 2, 63). Wossingen near Durlach has a hunger- 
brunnen, which is said to flow abundantly when the year is going 
to be unfruitful, and then also the fish it produces are small. 2 

1 In Poland and Silesia, and perhaps in a part of Russia, girls who have over- 
slept matin-time on Easter Monday are soused with water by the lads, and flogged 
with birch twigs ; they are often pulled out of bed at night, and dragged to a river 
or cistern, or a trough filled icith ivater, and are ducked. The Silesians call this 
schmngostern (even Estor's Oberhess. idiot, has schmakustern = giving the rod at 
Easter) ; perh. from Pol. smic, Boh. smyti, so that shiigust would be rinsing 
[Suppl. says, ' better from smagac" to flog'] . The Poles say both smi6 and dyngo- 
wac, dyngus, of the splashing each other with water (conf. Hanusch, p. 197), and 
the time of year seems to be St. John's day as well as Easter. In the Russian gov. 
of Archangel, the people bathe in the river on June 23, and sprinkle kupalnitsa 
(ranunculus acris), Karamzin 1, 73-4 [the same is also - a surname of St. Agrippina, 
on whose day, June 24, river-bathing (kupaluia) commences]. Everywhere a 
belief in the sacredness of the Easter-bath and St. John's-bath. 

2 Mone's Anz. 3, 221. 340, who gives a forced and misleading explanation of the. 


Such a hunger-spring there was by Halle on the Saale ; when 
the peasants came up to town, they looked at it, and if it ran 
over, they said : ' this year, things '11 be dear.' The like is told 
of fountains near Rosia in the Siennese, and near Chateaudun 
in the Orleanese. As Hunger was personified, it was easy to 
make him meddle with springs. A similar Nornborn was noticed, 
p. 405. I insert Dietmar of Merseburg's report (1, 3) of lake 
Glomazi in the Slav parts of the Elbe valley : ' Glomazi 1 est fons 
non plus ab Albi quam duo milliaria positus, qui unam de se 
paludem generans, mira, ut incolae pro vero asserunt oculisque 
approbatum est a multis, saepe operatur. Cum bona pax indigenis 
profutura suumque haec terra non mentitur fructum, tritico et 
avena ac glandine refertus, laetos vicinorum ad se crebro con- 
fluentium efficit animos. Qimndo autem saeva belli tempestas 
ingruerit, sanguine et cinere certum futuri exitus indicium prae- 
monstrat. Huuc omnis incola plus quam ecclesias, spe quamvis 
dubia, veneratur et timet.' " But apart from particular fountains, 
by a mere gauging of water a season of dearth or plenty, an 
increase or decrease of wealth may be divined, according as the 
water poured into a vessel rises or falls (Superst. F, 43 ; and no. 
953 in Praetor's Saturnalien p. 407). This looks to me like a 
custom of high antiquity. Saxo Gram. p. 320 says, the image of 
the god Svantovit in Riigen held in its right hand a horn : ' quod 
sacerdos sacrorum ejus peritus annuatim mero perfundere con- 
sueverat, exiqjso liquoris habitu sequentis anni copias prosjoedurus. 
Postero die, populo prae foribus excubante, detractum 
simulacro poculum curiosius speculatus, si quid ex inditi liquoris 
mensura substractum fuisset, ad sequentis anni inopiam pertinere 
putabat. Si nihil ex consuetae foecunditatis habitu diminutum 
vidisset, ventura agrorum ubertatis tempora praedicabat.' The 
wine was emptied out, and water poured into the horn (see Suppl.). 

word. Another name is schandlebach (beck that brings shame, confusion) : such a 
one was pointed out to me on the plain near Cassel, and Simpliciss. 5, 14 mentions 
the schdndlibach by Oberneheim, which only runs when misfortune befalls the land. 
[Suppl. adds the MHG-. sehantbach, Weisth. 1, 760, and ' der schanden bechelin,' 
Frauenlob p. 186] . So, when the Lutterborn by Herbershausen (Helperhusen) 
neat Gottingen runs, it is a dear season ; but when the spider builds in Helperhouse 
mill, and the swallow in the millwheel, the times are good. 

1 Al. ' Glomuzi, Zlumici ' ; now the Lommatsch district. 

2 Capitol, an. 794 (Pertz 3, 74) : ' experimento didicimus, in anno quo ilia 
valida famis irrepsit, ebulUrc vacuas annonas (empty ears), adaemonibus devoratas.' 


Whirlpools and waterfalls were doubtless held in special vene- 
ration; they were thought to be put in motion by a superior 
being, a river-sprite. The Danube whirlpool and others still 
have separate legends of their own. Plutarch (in his Cassar, 
cap. 19) and Clement of Alex. (Stromat. 1, 305) assure us that 
the German prophetesses watched the eddies of rivers, and by 
their whirl and noise explored the future. The Norse name for 
such a vortex is fors, Dan./os, and the Isl. sog. 1, 226 expressly 
say, 'blota3i fors'm (worshipped the f.).' The legend of the 
river-sprite fossegrim was touched upon, p. 493 ; and in such a 
fors dwelt the dwarf Andvari (Seem. 180. Fornald. sog. 1, 152). 
But animal sacrifices seem to have been specially due to the 
whirlpool (Slvos), as the black lamb (or goat) to the fossegrim; 
and the passages quoted from Agathias on pp. 47, 100, about the 
Alamanns offering horses to the rivers and ravines, are to the 
same purpose. The Iliad 21, 131 says of the Skamander : 

a> St) $7)6a 7ro\et9 lepevere ravpov<;, 
^eooi"? 8' ev hlvycn /caOiere [Mow^a? Iitttovs' 

(Lo, to the river this long time many a bull have ye hallowed, 
Many a whole-hoofed horse have ye dropped alive in his eddies) ; 
and Pausan. viii. 7, 2 : to Be apyalov KaOieaav e? tijv Aeivqv 
(a water in Argolis, conn, with Stvos) rw JJoaethoivi Ittttov^ oi 
jlpjeioi K€KO<rpevov<; %a\Lvois. Horace, Od. 3, 13: fons 
Bandusiae, non sine fioribus eras donaberis haedo (see Sup pi.). 

It is pretty well known, that even before the introduction of 
Christianity or christian baptism, the heathen Norsemen had a 
hallowing of new-born infants by means of water ; they called 
this vatni ansa, sprinkling with water. Very likely the same 
ceremony was practised by all other Teutons, and they may have 
ascribed a peculiar virtue to the water used in it, as Christians do 
to baptismal water (Superst. Swed. 116). After a christening, 
the Esthonians will bribe the clerk to let them have the water, 
and then splash it up against the walls, to secure honours and 
dignities for the child (Superst. M, 47). 

It was a practice widely prevalent to turn to strange supersti- 
tious uses the water of the millwheel caught as it glanced off the 
paddles. Old Hartlieb mentions it (Superst. H, c. 60), and vulgar 
opinion approves it still (Sap. I, 471. 766). The Servians call 


such water omaya, rebound, from oruanuti, ornakhnuti, to rebound. 
Vuk, under the word, observes that -women go early on St. 
George's day (Apr. 23), to catch it, especially off a small brook- 
mill (kashitchara), and bathe in it. Some carry it home the 
evening before, and sprinkle it with all manner of broken greens : 
they think all evil and harm will then glance off their bodies like 
the water off the mill wheel (Vuk sub v. Jurjev dan). Similar, 
though exactly the reverse, is the warning not to flirt the water 
off your hands after washing in the morning, else you flirt away 
your luck for the day (Sup. I, 21). 

Not only brooks and rivers (p. 585), but rain also was in the 
childlike faith of antiquity supposed to be let fall out of bowls by 
gods of the sky; and riding witches are still believed to carry 
pitchers, out of which they pour storm and hail upon the plains, 
instead of the rain or dew that trickled down before. l 

When the heavens were shut, and the fields languished in 
drought, the granting of rain depended in the first instance on a 
deity, on Donar, or Mary and Elias, who were supplicated accord- 
ingly (pp. 173-G). 3 But in addition to that, a special charm 
was resorted to, which infallibly procured 'rainwater/ and in a 
measure compelled the gods to grant it. A little girl, completely 
undressed and led outside the town, had to dig up henbane (bilsen- 
kraut, OHG. pilisa, hyoscyamus) with the little finger of her 
right hand, and tie it to the little toe of her right foot; she was 
then solemnly conducted by the other maidens to the nearest 
river, and splashed with water. This ceremony, reported by 
Burchard of Worms (Sup. C, 201 b ) and therefore perhaps still in 
use on the Ehine or in Hesse in the 11th cent., comes to us with 
the more weight, as, with characteristic differences which put all 
direct borrowing out of the question, it is still in force among 
Servians and Mod. Greeks. Vuk, under the word ' dodole/ 
describes the Servian custom. A girl, called the dodola, is stript 
naked, but so wrapt up in grass, herbs and flowers, that nothing of 

1 The Peruvians believe in a rain-goddess, who sits in the clouds with & pitcher 
of water, ready to pour it out at the right time ; if she delays, her brother with 
thunder and iightning smites the pitcher in pieces. Garcilaso de la Vega's Histt. 
Incarum peruanorum 11, 27 ; conf. Talvj's Cliaracteristik der volkslieder, p. L26. 

1 I will here add, from Anton's Coll. on the Slavs, the substance of a Walla- 
chian song, which the children sing when the corn is endangered by drought : 
' Papalnga (father Luga), climb into heaven, open its doors, and scud down rain 
from above, that well the rye may grow ! ' 


her person is to be seen, not even the face. 1 Escorted by other 
maidens, dodola passes from house to house, before each house 
they form a ring, she standing in the middle and dancing alone. 
The goodwife comes out and empties a bucket of water over the 
girl, who keeps dancing and whirling all the while ; her com- 
panions sing songs, repeating after every line the burden ' oy 
dodo, oy dodo le V The second of these rain-hymns (piesme 
dodolske) in Vuk's Coll. nos. 86-88 (184-8 of ed. 2) runs 
thus : 

To God doth our doda call, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

That dewy rain may fall, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

And drench the diggers all, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

The workers great and small, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

Even those in house and stall, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

And they are sure that rain will come at once. In Greece, when 
it has not rained for a fortnight or three weeks, the inhabitants 
of villages and small towns do as follows. The children choose 
one of themselves who is from eight to ten years old, usually a 
poor orphan, whom they strip naked and deck from' head to foot 
with field herbs and flowers : this child is called irvp-nvpovva. The 
others lead her round the village, singing a hymn, and every 
housewife has to throw a pailful of water over the pyrperuna's 
head, and hand the children a para (i of a farthing). The Mod. 
Greek hymn is in Theod. Kind's rpayajSta t?}? veas 'EWdSos, 
Leipz. 1833, p. 13. Passow, nos. 311-3, p. 627. Neither Greek 
nor Slavic will explain why the rain-girl should be called dodola 
(caressingly doda) and irvpirrjpovva- 2 Burchard very likely could 
have given us a German designation equally inscrutable. But the 
meaning of the performance is clear : as the water from the 
bucket on the dodola, so is rain out of heaven to stream down on 
the earth ; it is the mystic and genuinely symbolic association of 
means with end. Just so the rebound off the mill wheel was to 
send evil flying, and the lustration in the stream to wash away all 

1 Is this covering merely to protect the maiden's modesty, or has it some 
further reason ? We shall see that personations of spring and summer were in like 
manner enveloped in foliage. 

2 Kind, pp. 86-7, gives some variant forms, but all the explanations appear to 
me farfetched. Both the Greek and the Servian names have the reduplication so 
characteristic of folk-words. [Slav, dozhd is rain, and zhd represents either gd or 
dd ; if this be the root, dodo-la may be a dimin.] 


future illnesses. Celtic tradition, without bringing in girl or 
child, makes the pouring out of water in seasons of great drought 
evoke the wished-for rain. The huntsmen go to the fountain of 
Barenton in the forest of Breziliande, scoop up the water in their 
horns, and spill it on the stones ; immediately the rain-clouds rise 
and refresh the land. l The custom, with an addition of church 
ceremonial, is kept up to this day. Led by the clergy, amid 
chanting and pealing of bells, with five great banners borne in 
front, the parish walks in procession to the spring, and the head 
of the commune dips his foot crosswise in the fountain of Bar- 
enton ; they are then sure of its raining before the procession 
arrives home again. 3 The mayor's foot alone is wetted instead of 
the child, or a little water only is poured out as a beginning of 
that which is to fall in masses from the sky. The scanty offering 
brings the great bounty to our door. In Spain, when hot weather 
lasts long, an image of the Virgin arrayed in mourning (imagen 
cubierta de luto) is solemnly escorted through the villages, to 
obtain the blessing of rain, 3 as in the Liege procession (pp.1 74-5), 
with which again that described by Petronius agrees (p. 175) ; 
only here the symbolic libation is left out. But of those herbs 
that were tied round the child, some most likely were of magic 
power; such a use of henbane is otherwise unknown to me. 
Lastly, the Bavarian waterbird seems identical with dodola and 
pyrperuna. The man who is the last to drive out on Whitmonday 4 
is led by the other workmen into the nearest wood, and tied 
round and round with leaves and twigs or rushes; then they ride in 
triumph through the village, and everybody that has young legs 
follows the procession to the pond or brook, where the waterbird 
is solemnly tumbled off his horse into the water (Schm. 1, 320). 
In Austria too the village lads elect a Whitsun king, dress him 
up in green boughs, blacken his face and pitch him into the brook 
(Denis, Lesefr. 1,130). In these two cases the ' votis vocare 

1 Roman de Ron, v. 11514 (the passage extracted in the notes to Iwein, pp. 

s Revue de Paris, tome 41, pp. 47-58. Villemar adds, that children throw 
pins into the fountain, while they call out : ' ris done, fontaino de Berendon, et jo 
te donnerai une epingle 1 ' and the fay of the fountain is supposed to be mado 
friendly by the gift. Conf. ' libamina lacui exhibere', p. 596. 

3 Don Quixote 1, 52 (Ideler 2, 435). And in other places it was the custom in 
time of drougbt, to carry tbe bodies of saints about, Flodoard. rem. 4, 41. 

* As the girl who oversleeps herself on Easter morning is ducked (p. 590). 


irnbrem' has dropt out altogether, and been replaced by a mere 
Whitsun drollery at the cost of the laziest man ; l but I have 
little doubt that the same purpose lies at the bottom of the 
custom (see Suppl.). 

Of goddesses, no doubt the bath-loving Nerthus and Holda 
are the most nearly connected with water-worship (Holda lives in 
wells, pp. 268, 487) ; and to them must be added swan-maidens, 
mermiunes (p. 433), water-holdes, spring-holdes (p. 268), water- 
muhmes and nixies. To all of them particular rivers, brooks, 
pools and springs can be consecrated and assigned as their 
abode; Oegir (p. 237) and Ban (pp. 311, 497) ruled in the sea, 
and the waves are called their daughters : all this gives a new 
stamp to the veneration of the element. Of this very natural, 
but not essential, combination of simple rude water-worship with 
a faith in higher beings, I will give a few more specimens. 

As those who cross a river by ferry or by bridge have to dread 
the power of the daemon that dwells in it (p. 497), so vulgar 
opinion in Sweden (Sup. K, 40) holds it advisable, in crossing 
any water in the dark, to spit three times, as a safeguard against 
evil influences. 2 Precautions ai*e also taken in drawing water from 
a well : before drawing any, the Greeks at Mykono salute three 
times in honour of Teloni (fountain-sprite). 3 For a thief to throw 
in the water a little of what he has stolen (Sup. I, 836), means 
sacrificing to the water-sprite. The Vita S. Sulpicii Biturig. 
(died 644) relates (Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 172): 'gurges quidam 
erat in Yirisionensium situs agello (Vierzon, in Biturigibus) 
aquarum mole copiosus, utpote daemonibus consecratus ; et si 
aliquis causa qualibet ingrederetur eundem, repente funibus 
daemoniacis circumplexus amittebat crudeliter vitam.' A more 
decisive testimony to the worship of water itself is what Gregory 
of Tours tells of a lake on Mt. Helanus (De gloria confess., 
cap. 2) : ( Mons erat in Gabalitano territorio (Gevaudan) cogno- 
mento Helanus, lacum habens magnum. Ad quern certo tem- 
pore multitudo rusticorum, quasi libamina lacui Mi exhibens, 

1 Sup. I, 342 : the lazy maid, on carrying home her first grass, is ducked or 
splashed, to prevent her going to sleep over grass-cutting. 

2 The spirits cannot abide spitting (p. 514). 

3 Yilloison in Maltebrun, Annales de voy. 2, 180. Artemidorus's Oneirocrit. 
2 27 (Reiff 1, 189) admits well-nymphs : vvfupat. re yap daiv ev r^ (p^arc. Fauriel: 
rb <ttqixzu>v rod Trora/jLov. 


linteaniina projiciebat ac pannos qui ad usum vestimenti virilis 
praebentur : nonnulli lanae vellera, plurimi etiam forrnas casei 1 
ac cerae vel panis, diversasque species uuusquisque juxta vires 
suas, quae dinumerare perlonguin puto. Veuiebant auteni cum 
plaustris potuin cibumque deferentes, madantes animalia et per 
triduum epidantes. Quarta autein die cum discedere deberent, 
anticipabat eos tempestas cum tonitruo et coruscatione valida ; et 
in tantum imber ingens cum lapidum violentia descendebat, ut 
vix se quisquam eorum putaret evadere. Sic fiebat per singulos 
annos, et iuvolvebatur iusipieus populus in errore.' — No god or 
spirit shews his face here, the yearly sacrifice is offered to the 
lake itself, and the feast winds up with the coming tempest. 
Gervase of Tilbury (in Leibnitz 1, 982) tells of a lake on Mt. 
Cavagum in Catalonia : ' in cujus summitate lacus est aquam 
continens subnigram et in fundo imperscrutabilem. Illic mansio 
fertur esse daemonum ad modum palatii dilatata et janua clausa ; 
facies tamen ipsius inansionis sicut ipsorum daemonum vul- 
garibus est incognita ac invisibilis. In lacum si quis aliquam 
lapideam aut aliam solidam projecerit materiarn, statim tanquam 
offtnsis daemonibus tempestas erumpit.' 2 Then comes the story 
of a girl who is carried off by the watersprites, and kept in the 
lake seven years. 

Lakes cannot endure to have their depth gauged. On the 
Mummelsee, when the sounders had let down all the cord out of 
nine nets with a plummet without finding a bottom, suddenly the 
raft they were on began to sink, and they had to seek safety in a 
rapid flight to land (Simplic. 5, 10). A man went in a boat to 
the middle of the Tltlsee, and payed out no end of line after the 
plummet, when there came out of the waves a terrible cry: 
' Measure me, and I'll eat you up ! ' In a great fright the man 
desisted from his enterprise, and since then no one has dared 

1 Formages, whence fromages. 

2 This raising of a storm by throwing stones into a lake or wellhead is a Teu- 
tonic, a Celtic and a Finnish superstition, as the examples quoted shew. The 
watersprite avenges the desecration of his holy stream. Under this head come the 
stories of the Mummelsee (Deut. sag. no. 59. Simplic. 5, 9), of the Pilatussee 
(Lothar's Volkssag. 232. Dobenek 2, 118. Gutslaff p. 288. Hone's Anz. 4, 423), 
of L. Camarina in Sicily (Camarinam movere), and above all, of Berenton well in 
Breziliande forest, Iwein 553-672, where however it is the well-water poured on the 
well-rock that stirs up the storm: conf. supra, p. 5 ( J4, and the place in Pontus men- 
tioned by Beneke, p. 2G ( J. Tho lapis manalis also conjured up rain, 0. Muller'.s Btr. 


to sound the depth of the lake (Mone's Ariz. 8, 530). There is 
a similar story in Thiele 3, 73, about Huntsoe, that some people 
tried to fathom its depth with a ploughshare tied to the line, 
and from below came the sound of a spirit-voice : ' i maale vore 
vagge, vi skal maale jeres lagge ! ' Full of terror they hauled 
up the line, but instead of the share found an old horse's skull 
fastened to it. 1 

It is the custom in Bsthonia for a newly married wife to drop a 
present into the well of the house ; it is a nationality that seems 
particularly given to worshipping water. There is a detailed 
account of the holy Wohhanda, a rivulet of Livonia. It rises 
near Ilmegerve, a village of Odenpa district in Esthonia, and 
after its junction with the Medda, falls into L. Peipus. The 
source is in a sacred grove, within whose bounds no one dares to 
cut a tree or break a twig : whoever does it is sure to die that 
year. Both brook and fountain are kept clean, and are put to 
rights once a year; if anything is thrown into the spring or 
the little lake through which it flows, the weather turns to storm 
(see Suppl.). 

Now in 1641 Hans Ohm of Sommerpahl, a large landowner 
who had come into the country in the wake of the Swedes, built 
a mill on the brook, and when bad harvests followed for several 
years, the Ehsts laid it all to the desecration of the holy stream, 
who allowed no obstructions in his path ; they fell upon the mill, 
burnt it down, and destroyed the piles in the water. Ohm went 
to law, and obtained a verdict against the peasants ; but to 
rid himself of new and grievous persecutions, he induced pastor 
Gutslaff, another German, to write a treatise 2 specially com- 
bating this superstition. Doubtless we learn from it only the 
odious features of the heathenish cult. To the question, how 
good or bad weather could depend on springs, brooks and lakes, 
the Ehsts replied : c it is our ancient faith, the men of old have 
so taught us (p. 25, 258); mills have been burnt down on this 

1 The people about L. Baikal believe it has no bottom. A priest, who could 
dive to any depth, tried it, but was so frightened by the 16s (dragons, sea-monsters), 
that, if I remember rightly, he died raving mad.— Tkans. 

2 A short account of the holy brook (falsely so called) Wohhanda in Liefland, 
whereby the ungodly burning of Sommerpabl mill came to pass. Given from 
Cbristian zeal against uncbristian and heathenish superstition, by Job. Gutslaff, 
Pomer. pastor at Urbs in Liefland. Porpt 1644 (8vo, 407 pp. without the Pedic. 
and Pref.). An extract in Kellgren (Suomi 9, 72-92). 


brook before now (p. 278), he will stand no crowding.'' The Esth. 
name is ' poha yogge/ the Lettic c shveti ubbe/ i.e. holy brook. 
By means of it they could regulate the weather, and when they 
wanted rain, they had only to throw something in (p. 25). Once, 
when three oxen were drowned in the lake, there followed snow 
and frost (p. 26). At times there came up out of the brook a carl 
ivith blue and yellow stockings : evidently the spirit of the brook. 
Another Esthonian story is about L. Elm changing his bed. 
On his banks lived wild and wicked men, who never mowed the 
meadows that he watered, nor sowed the fields he fertilized, but 
robbed and murdered, so that his bright wave was befouled with 
the blood of the slain. And the lake mourned ; and one evening 
he called his fish together, and mounted with them into the 
air. The brigands hearing a din cried : ' the Eim has left his 
bed, let us collect his fish and hidden treasure/ But the fish 
were gone, and nothing was found at the bottom but snakes, 
toads and salamanders, which came creeping out and lodged with 
the ruffian brood. But the Eim rose higher and higher, and 
swept like a white cloud through the air ; said the hunters in the 
woods : ' what is this murky weather passing over us ? ' and the 
herdsmen : ' what white swan is flying in the sky ? ' AH night 
he hung among the stars, at morn the reapers spied him, how 
that he was sinking, and the white swan became as a white ship, 
and the ship as a dark drifting cloud. And out of the waters 
came a voice: f get thee hence with thy harvest, I come to dwell 
with thee.' Then they bade him welcome, if he would bedew their 
fields and meadows, and he sank down and stretched himself in 
hi3 new couch. They set his bed in order, built dikes, and planted 
young trees around to cool his face. Their fields he made fertile, 
their meadows green ; and they danced around him, so that old 
men grew young for joy. 1 

1 Fr. Thiersch in Taschenbuch fi'ir liebe unci freundschaft 1809, p. 179. Must 
not Eim be the same as Embach (mother-beck, fr. emma mother, conf. oim mother- 
in-law) uear Dorpat, whose origin is reported as follows ? When God had created 
heaven and earth, he wished to bestow on the beasts a king, to keep them in 
order, and commanded them to dig for his reception a deep broad beck, on 
whose banks he might walk ; the earth dug out of it was to make a hill for the 
king to live on. All the beasts set to work, the hare measured the land, the fox's 
brush trailing after him marked the course of the stream ; when they had finished 
hollowing out the bed, God poured water into it out of his golden bowl (Verhandl. 
der esthn. gesellschaft, Dorpat 1840. 1, 10-12). The two stories differ as to the 
manner of preparing the new bed. 



The Greeks and Romans personified their rivers into male 
beings ; a bearded old man pours the flowing spring out of his 
urn (pp. 585. 593). Homer finely pictures the elemental strife 
between water and fire in the battle of the Skamander with 
Hephaestus : the river is a god, and is called ava%, Od. 5, 445. 
451. The Indian Ganges too is an august deity. Smaller 
streams and fountains had nymphs set over them. 1 In our 
language, most of the rivers' names are feminine (Gramm. 3, 
384-6), there must therefore have been female watersprites. 
Twelve or eighteen streams are specified by name in Ssem. 43 b . 
Sn. 4. I single out Leiptr, by whose clear water, as by Styx or 
Acheron, oaths were sworn. Saein. 165 a : 'at eno liosa Leiptrar 
vatni.' A dasrnon of the Rhine is nowhere named in our native 
traditions, but the Edda calls the Rin (fern.) svinn, askunna 
(prudens, a diis oriunda, Sa3m. 248 a ). And in the bosom of the 
Rhine lie treasure and gold. The Goths buried their beloved 
king Alaric in the bed of a river near Consentia (Cosenza), which 
they first dug out of its course, and then led back over the 
corpse (Jornandes, cap. 30) ; the Franks, when crossing a river, 
offered sacrifice to it (p. 45). 

But where the sacred water of a river sweeps round a piece 
of meadow land, and forms an ea (aue), such a spot is specially 
marked out for the residence of gods ; witness Wunsches ouwe 
(p. 140), Pholes ouwa (p. 22 5). 2 Equally venerable were islands 
washed by the pure sea wave, Fosetesland (p. 230), and the island 
of Nerthus (p. 251). 

In the sea itself dwelt Oegir (p. 237) and Ran (p. 311), and the 
waves are their daughters : the Edda speaks of nine waves, and 
gives their names (Sn. 124, conf. the riddles in the Hervararsaga, 
pp. 478-9) ; this reminds me of the nona unda in the Waltbai'ius 
1343, and the ( fluctus decunianus' [every tenth wave being the 
biggest, Festus, and Ov. Trist. i. 2, 50] . There must also have 
been another god of the sea, Geban (p. 239, conf. p. 311). Then, 

1 The Kornans appear to have much elaborated their cultus of rivers and 
brooks, as may be seen by the great number of monuments erected to river-gods. I 
will here add the testimony of Tacitus, Ann. 1, 79 : ' sacra et lucos et aras patriis 
omnibus dicare.' 

2 Gallus Ohem's Chronik von Reichaiau (end of loth cent.) quoted in Schon- 
liuth's Ileicheuau, Freib. 1836, p. v. : ' the isle is to this day esteemed honourable 
and hohj ; uuchristened babes are not buried in it, but carried out and laid beside a 
small house with a saint's image in it, called the chindli-bihi 


according to the Edda, there lies in the deep sea an enormous 
' worm/ miSgarSs-orinr, biting his own tail and begirding the 
whole earth. The immensity of ocean (Goth, mcmsdws) is ex- 
pressed in the OHG. names endilmeri and wendilmeri (Graff 2, 
829) ; conf. enteo and wenteo (p. 564), entil and wentil (p. 375). 
An AS. term gdrsecg I have tried to explain in Zeitschr. fur d. a. 
1, 578. As the running stream will suffer no evil-doer in it, so 
is ' daz met so reine, daz ez keine busheit mac geliden/ so clean 
that it no wickedness can bear, Wiener merfart 392 (see Suppl.). 

2. Fire. 

Fire, 1 like water, is regarded as a living being : corresponding 
to quecprimno (p. 588 n.) we have a quecfiur, daz quecke fiwer, 
Parz. 71, 13 ; Serv. vatra zhiva, ogan zhivi (vivus, Vuk 1, xlvi. 
and 3, 8. 20) ; rb rrvp diqpiov epi-^v^ov of the Egyptians, Herod. 3, 
16; ignis animal, Cic. de N. D. 3, 14, i.e. a devouring hungry 
insatiable beast, vorax flamrna; frekr (avidus), Saetn. 50 b ; bitar 
iBur, Hel. 78, 22 ; bitar logna 79, 20 ; gradag logna (greedy lowe), 
130, 23; grim endi gradag 133, 11; eld unfuodi (insatiabilis) 78, 
23 ; it licks with its tongue, eats all round it, pastures, vipuerat,, 
II. 23, 177; the land gets eaten clean by it, irvpl %6a)v vipuerac, 
2, 780; 'lcztu eld eta iofra bygdir, Sa3m. I42 a ; it is restless, 
ciKafxarov irvp, II. 23, 52. To be spoken to is a mark of living- 
things : ' heitr ertu hripuSr ! ' (hot art thou, Fire), Sasm. 40 a . 
The ancient Persians made a god of it, and the Indian Agni 
(ignis) is looked upon as a god. The Edda makes fire a brother 
of the wind and sea, therefore himself alive and a god, Sn. 126. 
Our people compare the element to a cock flying from house to 
house : ' I'll set the red code on your roof ' is a threat of the incen- 
diary ; ' ein roten han aufs stadel setzen/ H. Sachs iv. 3, SG d ; 
voter schin, Gudr. 786, 2. 

An antique heathen designation of the great World-fire, OX. 
muspell, OHG. OS. muspilli, miuhpdli, iiuttsju'lli, has already 
'nvii noticed, p. 558. The mythic allusions here involved can 
3nly be unfolded in the sequel ; the meaning of the word seems 
to be ligni perditor, as fire in general is also called bani vicfar, 

* ' Names for it, Grarnm. 3, 352 ; Eddie names, Sam. 50'\ Su. 187-8. 


grand vi&ar (bane, crusher, of wood), Sn. 126, her alls vicTar, 
Stem. 228 b . Another difficult expression is eiJcin fur, Seem. 83 b . 
Of vafrlogi (quivering flame), suggesting the MHG. ' daz bibende 
fiwer' (Tund. 54, 58), I likewise forbear to speak; conf. Chap. 
XXXI., Will o' the wisp (see Suppl.). 

A regular worship of fire seems to have had a more limited 
range than the veneration of water ; it is only in that passage of 
the AS. prohibitions quoted p. 102, and in no other, that I find 
mention of fire. A part of the reverence accorded to it is no 
doubt included in that of the light-giving and warming sun, as 
Julius Caesar (p. 103 above) names Sol and Vulcanus together, 
and the Edda fire and sun, praising them both as supreme : 
' eldr er beztr med yta sonum, ok solar syn/ fire is best for men, 
Saern. 18 b (as Pindar says water is). In Superst. B, 17, I under- 
stand ' observatio pagana in foco' of the flame on the hearth or in 
the oven: where a hearth-fire burns, no lightning strikes (Sup. I, 
126) ; when it crackles, there will be strife (322. 534). Compare 
with this the Norwegian exposition (p. 242) ; so long as a child 
is unbaptized, you must not let the fire out (Sup. Swed. 22), conf. 
hasta eld, tagi i elden (24-5. 54. 68. 107).— The Esthonians 
throw gifts into fire, as well as into water (Sup. M, 11) ; to 
pacify the flame, they sacrifice a fowl to it (82). 

A distinction seems to have been made between friendly and 
malignant fires ; among the former the Greeks reckoned brimstone 
fire, as they call sulphur Oelov, divine smoke (II. 8, 135. Od. 22, 
481. 493). In 0. Fr. poems I often find such forms of cursing 
as : mat feu arde ! Tristr. 3791 ; maus feus et male fiambe 
m'arde ! Meon 3, 227. 297. Ren. 19998. This evil fire is what 
the Norse Loki represents ; and as Loki or the devil breaks loose, 
we say, when a fire begins, that it breaks loose, breaks out, gets out, 
as if from chains and prison : '" worde vtir los/ Doc. in Sartorius's 
Hanse p. 27 ; in Lower Germany an alarm of fire was given in the 
words ' fur los ! ' ON. ' einn neisti (spark) warS laus.' 

Forms of exorcism treat fire as a hostile higher being, whom 
one must encounter with might and main. Tacitus (Ann. 13, 57) 
tells us how the Ubii suppressed a fire that broke out of the ground : 
Residentibus flam mis propius suggressi, ictu fustium aliisque 
verberibus ut feras (see p. 601) absterrebant, postremo tegmina 
corpore direpta injiciunt, quanto magis profana et usu polluta, 


tanto magis oppressura ignes. So, on valuables that have caught 
fire, people throw some article of clothing that has beeu worn 
next the skin, or else earth which has first been stamped on with 
the foot. Rupertus Tuitiensis, De incendio oppidi Tuitii (i.e. Deutz, 
in 1128), relates that a white altar-cloth (corporale) was thrust 
into the middle of the fire, to stifle it, but the flame hurled back 
the cloth. The cloth remained uninjured, but had a red streak 
running: through it. Similar to this was the casting of clothes 
into the lake (p. 596-7). Fire breaking out of the earth (iarS- 
eldr) is mentioned several times in Icelandic sagas : in the even- 
ing you see a great horrible man rowing to land in an iron boat, 
and digging under the stable door : in the night earth-fire breaks 
out there, and consumes every dwelling, Landn. 2, 5 ; ' iarSeldr 
rann ofan/ 4, 12 (see Suppl.). 

Needfirb. — Flame which had been kept some time among 
men and been propagated from one fire to another, was thought 
unserviceable for sacred uses ; as holy water had to be drawn 
fresh from the spring, so it made all the difference, if instead of 
the profaned and as it were worn out flame, a new one were used. 
This was called wild fire, as opposed to the tame and domesti- 
cated. So heroes when they fought, ' des fiurs uz den riugen 
(harness) hiuwen si genuoc/ Nib. 2215, 1 ; uz ir helmen daz 
wilde fiwer von den slegen vuor entwer/ Alt. bl. 1, 339 ; c daz 
fiur wilde wadlende druze vluoc/ Lanz. 5306 ; ' si sluog'en uf ein- 
ander, daz wilde fiur erschien/ Etzels hofh. 168 (see Suppl.). 
Fire struck or scraped out of stone might indeed have every 
claim to be called a fresh one, but either that method seemed 
too common (fiammam concussis ex more lapidibus elicere, Vita 
Severini cap. 14), or its generation out of wood was regarded as 
moi;e primitive and hallowed. If by accident such' wild fire have 
arisen uuder the carpenter's hand in driving a nail into the mor- 
tised timbers of a new house, it is ominous of danger (Superst. I, 
411. 500. 707). But for the most part there was a formal kindling 
of flame by the rubbing of wood, for which the name known from 
the oldest times was notfeuer (need fire), and its ritual can with 
scarce a doubt be traced back to heathen sacrifices. 

So far back as in the Indiculus superstit. 15, we have mention 
f de ignefricato de ligno, id est nodfyr'; the Capitulare Carlomani 


of 742 § 5 (Pertz 3, 17) forbids ' illos saerilegos ignes quos nied- 
fijr vocant. 1 

The preparation of needfire is variously described : I think 
it worth the while to bring all such accounts together in this 
place. Lindenbrog in the Glossary to the Capitularies says : 
' Eusticani homines in multis Germaniae locis, et festo quidem 
S.'Johannis Baptistae die, p alum sepi extrahunt, extracto funem 
circumligant, illumque hue illuc ducunt, donee ignem concipiat : 
quern stipula lignisque aridioribus aggestis curate fovent, ac 
cineres collectos supra olera spargunt, hoc medio erucas abigi 
posse inani superstitione credentes. Eum ergo ignem nodfeur et 
nodfyr, quasi necessarium ignem, vocant/ — Joh. Keiskius, 2 in Un- 
tersuchung des notfeuers, Frankf. and Leipz. 1696, 8. p. 51 ■ 
' If at any time a grievous murrain have broke out among 
cattle great or small, and they have suffered much harm 
thereby ; the husbandmen with one consent make a nothfur 
or nothfeuer. On a day appointed there must in no house he 
any flame left on the hearth. From every house shall be some 
straw and water and bushwood brought ; then is a stout oaken 
stake driven fast into the ground, and a hole bored through the 
same, to the which a wooden roller well smeared with pitch and 
tar is let in, and so winded about, until by reason of the great 
heat and stress (nothzwang) it give out fire. This is straightway 
catched on shavings, and by straw, heath and bushwood enlarged, 
till it grow to a full nothfeuer, yet must it stretch a little way 
along betwixt two walls or hedges, and the cattle and thereto the 
horses be with sticks and whips driven through it three times or 
two. Others in other parts set up two such stakes, and stuff into 
the holes a windle or roller and therewith old rags smeared with 
grease. Others use a hairen or common light- spun rope, collect 
wood of nine kinds, and keep up a violent motion till such time as 
fire do drop therefrom. There may be in use yet other ways for 
the generating or kindling of this fire, nevertheless they all have 
respect unto the healing of cattle alone. After thrice or twice 
passing through, the cattle are driven to stall or field, and the 

1 Tgnorant scribes made it metfratres, the Capitularia spuria Beueclicti 1, 2 
(reitz iv. 2, 46) have nedfratres. 

2 Eector of Wolfenbtittel school, v. Gericke's Schottelms illustratus, Leipz. 
171P, p. 66. Eccard's Fr. or. 1, 425. 



collected pile of wood is again pulled asunder, yet in sucli wise in 
sundry places, that every householder shall take a brand with him, 
quench it in the wash or swill tub, and put the same by for a 
time in the crib wherein the cattle are fed. The stakes driven in 
for the extorting of this fire, and the wood used for a roller, are 
sometimes carried away for fuel, sometimes laid by in safety, when 
the threefold chasing of the cattle through the flame hath been 
accomplished/ — In the Marburg Records of Inquiry, for 1605, it 
is ordered, that a new cartwheel with an unused axle be taken 
and worked round until it give fire, and with this a fire be 
lighted between the gates, and all the oxen driven through it ; but 
before the fire be kindled, every citizen shall put his own fire clean 
out, and afterward fetch him fire again from the other. 1 Kuhn's 
Markisehe sagen p. 369 informs us, that in many parts of the 
Mark the custom prevails of making a nothfeuer on certain occa- 
sions, and particularly when there is disease among swine. Before 
sunrise two stakes of dry wood are dug into the ground amid solemn 
silence, and hempen ropes that go round them are pulled back 
and forwards till the wood catches fire ; the fire is fed with leaves 
and twigs, and the sick animals are driven through. In some 
places the fire is produced by the friction of an old cartwheel. — 
The following description, the latest of all, is communicated from 
Hohenhameln, bailiw. Baldenberg, Hildesheim : In many villages 
of Lower Saxony, especially in the mountains, it is common, as a 
precaution against cattle plague, to get up the so-called wild fire, 
through which first the pigs, then the cows, lastly the geese are 
driven. 2 The established procedure in the matter is this. The 
farmers and all the parish assemble, each inhabitant receives 
notice to extinguish every bit of fire in his house, so that not a 
spark is left alight in the whole village. Then old and young 
walk to a hollow way, usually towards evening, the women carry- 
ing linen, the men wood and tow. Two oaken stakes are driven 
into the ground a foot and a half apart, each having a hole on the 
inner side, into which fits a cross-bar as thick as an arm. The 
holes are stuffed with linen, then the cross-bar is forced in as 
tight as possible, the heads of the stakes being held together with 

1 Zeitsclir. des Less, vereins 2, 281. 

2 Not a word about sheep : supposing cocks and hens were likewise bunted over 
tbe coals, it would explain a hitherto unexplained proverb (lieinbart xciv.). 


corcls. About the smooth round cross-bar is coiled a rope, whose 
long ends, left hanging on both sides, are seized by a number of 
men ; these make the cross-bar revolve rapidly this way and that, 
till the friction sets the linen in the holes on fire. The sparks are 
caught on tow or oakum, and whirled round in the air till they 
burst into a clear blaze, which is then communicated to straw, and 
from the straw to a bed of brushwood arranged in cross layers in 
the hollow way. When this wood has well burnt and nearly done 
blazing, the people hurry off to the herds waiting behind, and 
drive them perforce, one after the other, through the glowing 
embers. As soon as all the cattle are through, the young folks 
throw themselves pellmell upon the ashes and coals, sprinkling 
and blackening one another ;, those who are most blackened and 
besmudged march into the village behind the cattle as conquerors, 
and will not wash for a long time after. 1 If after long rubbing 
the linen will not catch, they feel sure there is still fire somewhere 
in the village, and that the element refuses to reveal itself through 
friction : then follows a strict searching of houses, any fire they 
may light upon is extinguished, and the master of the house 
rebuked or chastised. But that the wild fire should be evoked by 
friction is indispensable, it cannot be struck out of flint and steel. 
Some localities perform the ceremony, not yearly as a preventive 
of murrain, but only upon its actually breaking out. 

Accurate as these accounts are, a few minor details have 
escaped them, whose observance is seen to in some districts at 
least. Thus, in the Halberstadt country the ropes of the wooden 
roller are pulled by two chaste boys. 2 Need fires have remained in 
use longer and more commonly in North Germany, 3 yet are not 
quite unknown in the South. Schmeller and Stalder are silent, 
but in Appenzell the country children still have a game of rub- 
bing a rope against a stick till it catches fire : this they call ' de 
tufel hale,' unmanning the devil, despoiling him of his strength. 4 

1 Is there not also a brand or some light earned home for a redistribution of 
fire in tbe village ? 

- Biisching's Wochentliche nachr. 4, 64 ; so a chaste youth has to strike the 
light for curing St. Anthony's fire, Superst. I, 710. 

3 Conf. Conring's Epist. ad Baluz. xiii. Gericke's Schottel. p. 70. Diihnert 
sub v. noodfiir. 

4 Zellweger's Gesch. von Appenzell, Trogen 1830. 1, 63 ; who observes, that 
with the ashes of the fire so engendered they strew the fields, as a protection 
against vermin. 



But Tobler 252'' says, what boys call de tiifel hilla is spinning a 
pointed stick, with a string coiled round it, rapidly in a wooden 
socket, till it takes fire. The name may be one of those innu- 
merable allusions to Loki, the devil and fire-god (p. 242). Nic. 
Gryse, in a passage to be quoted later, speaks of sawing fire out 
of wood, as we read elsewhere of symbolically sawing the old 
woman in two. The Practica of Berthol. Carrichter, phys. in 
ord. to Maximilian II., gives a description (which I borrow from 
Wolfg. Hildebrand on Sorcery, Leipz. 1631. p. 226) of a magic 
bath, which is not to be heated with common flint-and-steel fire : 
( Go to an appletree which the lightning hath stricken, let a saw 
be made thee of his wood, therewith shalt thou saw upon a 
wooden threshold that much people passeth over, till it be kindled. 
Then make firewood of birch-fungus, and kindle it at this fire, 
with which thou shalt heat the bath, and on thy life see it go not 
out ' (see Suppl.). 

Notfiur can be derived from not (need, necessitas), whether 
because the fire is forced to shew itself or the cattle to tread the 
hot coal, or because the operation takes place in a time of need, 
of pestilence. Nevertheless I will attempt another explanation : 
notfiur, nodfiur may stand for an older hnoffiur, hnodfiur, from 
the root hniudan, OHG. hniotan, ON. hniofta (quassare, terere, 
tundere) ; l and would mean a fire elicited by thumping, rubbing, 

And in Sweden it is actually called both vrideld and gnideld : 
the one from vrida (torquere, circumagere), AS. wriSan, OHG. 
ridan, MHG. riden ; the other from gnida (fricare), OHG. knitan, 
AS. cnidan (conterere, fricare, depsere). 

It was produced in Sweden as with us, by violently rubbing 
two pieces of wood together, in some districts even near the 
end of last century; sometimes they used boughs of nine sorts 
of wood? The smoke rising from gnideld was deemed salutary, 

1 OHG. pihniutit (excutit).Gl. ker. 251. hnotot (quassat) 229. hnutten (vibrare) 
282 ; N. has fnoton (quassare), Ps. 109, 6. Bth. 230 ; conf. nieten, to bump. ON. 
still has knicro'a in hnoiS (tudes, malleus), hno'JSa (depsere), hnu'Sla (subigere). It 
might be spelt hnotfiur or huotfiur (hnutfiur), ace. as the sing, or pi. vowel-form 
was used. Perhaps we need not even insist on a lost h, but turn to the OHG. 
niuwan, ON. niia (terere, fricare), from which a subst. not might be derived by 
suffix. Nay, we might go the length of supposing that not, nauj>s, nauftr, need, 
contained from the first the notion of stress and pressure (conf. Graff 2, 1032. 4, 

- Hire's De superstit. p. 98, and Glossary sub. v. wredeld. Finn. Magn., 


fruit-trees or nets fumigated with it became the more productive 
of fruit or fish. On this fumigation with vriden eld, and on 
driving the cattle out over such smoke, conf. Superst. Swed. 89. 
108. We can see that the purposes to which needfire was 
applied must have been far more numerous in heathen times : in 
Germany we find but a fragment of it in use for diseased cattle, 
but the superstitious practice of girls kindling nine sorts of wood 
on Christmas eve (Sup. I, 955) may assure us of a wider meaning 
having once belonged to needfire (see Suppl.). 

In the North of England it is believed that an angel strikes a 
tree, and then needfire can be got from it ; did they rub it only 
out of windfall wood ? or does striking here not mean felling ? 

Of more significance are the Scotch and Irish procedures, 
which I am glad to give in the words of the original communica- 
tions. The following I owe to the kindness of Miss Austin ; it 
refers to the I. of Mull (off the W. coast of Scotland), and to 
the year 1767. ' In consequence of a disease among the black 
cattle the people agreed to perform an incantation, though they 
esteemed it a wicked thing. They carried to the top of Carn- 
uioor a wheel and nine spindles of oak wood. They extinguished 
every fire in every house within sight of the hill ; the wheel was 
then turned from east to west over the nine spindles long enough 
to produce fire by friction. If the fire were not produced before 
noon, the incantation lost its effect. They failed for several days 
running. They attributed this failure to the obstinacy of one 
householder, who would not let his fires be put out for what he 
considered so wrong a purpose. However by bribing his ser- 
vants they contrived to have them extinguished, and on that 
morning raised their fire. They then sacrificed a heifer, cutting 
in pieces and burning, while yet alive, the diseased part. Then 
they lighted their own hearths from the pile, and ended by feast- 
ing on the remains. Words of incantation were repeated by an 
old man from Morven, who came over as master of the cere- 
monies, and who continued speaking all the time the fire was 
being raised. This man was living a beggar at Bellochroy. 
Asked to repeat the spell, he said the sin of repeating it once had 

Tidskr. for nord. oldk. 2, 294, following Westerdahl. Conf. bjaraau, a magic 
utensil, Chap. XXXIV. 



brought him to beggary, and that he dared not say those words 
again. The whole country believed him accursed ' (see Suppl.). 

In the Highlands, and especially in Caithness, they now use 
needfire chiefly as a remedy for preternatural diseases of cattle 
brought on by witchcraft. 1 ' To defeat the sorceries, certain 
persons who have the power to do so are sent for to raise the 
needfire. Upon any small river, lake, or island, a circular booth 
of stone or turf is erected, on which a couple or rafter of a birch- 
tree is placed, and the roof covered over. In the centre is set a 
perpendicular post, fixed by a wooden pin to the couple, the lower 
end being placed in an obloug groove on the floor ; and another 
pole is placed horizontally between the upright post and the legs 
of the couple, into both of which the ends, being tapered, are 
inserted. This horizontal timber is called the auger, being pro- 
vided with four short arms or spokes by which it can be turned 
round. As many men as can be collected are then set to work, 
having first divested themselves of cdl kinds of metal, and two at 
a time continue to turn the pole by means of the levers, while 
others keep driving wedges under the upright post so as to press 
it against the auger, which by the friction soon becomes ignited. 
From this the needfire is instantly procured, and all other fires 
being immediately quenched, those that are rekindled both in 
dwelling house and offices are accounted sacred, and the cattle 
are successively made to smell them/ Let me also make room 
for Martin's description, 3 which has features of its own : ' The 
inhabitants here did also make use of a fire called tinegin, i.e. a 
forced fire, or fire of necessity, 3 which they used as an antidote 
against the plague or murrain in cattle ; and it was performed 
thus : all the fires in the parish were extinguished, and then 
eighty-one (9 x 9) married men, being thought the necessary 
number for effecting this design, took two great plunks of wood, 
and nine of 'em were employed by turns, who by their repeated 
efforts rubbed one of the planks against the other until the heat 

1 I borrow the description of the process from James Logan's 'The Scottish 
Gael, or Celtic manners as preserved among the Highlanders,' Lond. ls;U. 2, til; 
though here he copies almost verbally from Jarnieson'a Supplem. to the Scot. Diet. 
sub v. neidfyre. 

2 Descr. of the Western Islands, p. 113. 

3 From tin, Ir. teine (fire), and egin, Ir. eigin, eigean (vis, violentia) ; which 
seems to favour the old etymology of nothfeuer, unless it be simply a translation of 
the Engl, needfire [which itself may stand for kneadiiie] . 


thereof produced fire; and from this forced fire each family is 
supplied with new fire, which is no sooner kindled than a pot full 
of water is quickly set on it, and afterwards sprinkled upon the 
people infected with the plague, or upon the cattle that have the 
murrain. And this they all say they find successful by ex- 
perience : it was practised on the mainland opposite to the south 
of Skye, within these thirty years/ As in this case there is water 
boiled on the frictile fire, and sprinkled with the same effect, so 
Eccard (Fr. or. 1, 425) tells us, that one Whitsun morning he saw 
some stablemen rub fire out of wood, and boil their cabbage over 
it, under the belief that by eating it they would be proof against 
fever all that year. A remarkable story from Northamptonshire, 
and of the present century, confirms that sacrifice of the young 
cow in Mull, and shows that even in England superstitious 
people would kill a calf to protect the herd from pestilence : Miss 

C and her cousin walking saw a fire in a field, and a crowd 

round it. They said, ' what is the matter ? ' ' Killing a calf.' 
'What for?' 'To stop the murrain.'' They went away as 
quickly as possible. On speaking to the clergyman, he made 
inquiries. The people did not like to talk of the affair, but it 
appeared that when there is a disease among the cows, or the 
calves are born sickly, they sacrifice (i.e. kill and burn) one for 
good luck/ [A similar story from Cornwall in Hone's Daybook 
1, 153.] 

Unquestionably needfire was a sacred thing to other nations 
beside the Teutonic and Celtic. The Creeks in N. America hold 
an annual harvest festival, commencing with a strict fast of 
three days, during which the^res are put out in all houses. On 
the fourth morning the chief priest by rubbing two dry sticks 
together lights a new clean fire, which is distributed among all 
the dwellings ; not till then do the women carry home the new 
corn and fruits from the harvest field. 1 The Arabs have for fire- 
friction two pieces of wood called March and Aphar, the one 
male, the other female. The Chinese say the emperor Sui was 
the first who rubbed wood against wood ; the inconvenient 
method is retained as a holy one. Indians and Persians turn 
a piece of cane round in dry wood, Kanne's Urk. 454-5 (see 

i Fr. Majer's Mythol. taschenb. 1811, p. 110. 



It is still more interesting to observe how nearly the old 
Roman and Greek customs correspond. Excerpts from Festus 
(0. Muller 106, 2) say: 'ignis Vestae si quando interstinctus 
esset, virgiues verberibus afficiebantur a pontifice, quibus mos 
erat, tabulam felicis materiae tarn diu terebrare, quousque exceptum 
ignem cribro aeneo virgo in aedem ferret/ The sacred fire of 
the goddess, once extinguished, was not to be rekindled, save by 
generating the pure element anew. A plank of the choice 
timber of sacred trees was bored, i.e. a pin turned round in it, 
till it gave out sparks. The act of catching the fire in a 
sieve, and so conveying it into the temple, is suggestive of a 
similar carrying of water in a sieve, of which there is some 
account to be given further on. Plutarch (in Numa 9) makes 
out that neiv fire was obtained not by friction, but by in- 
tercepting the sun's rays in clay vessels destined for the pur- 
pose. The Greeks worshipped Hestia as the pure hearth-flame 
itself. 1 But Lemnos, the island on which Zeus had flung down 
the celestial fire-god Hepheestus, 2 harboured a fire-worship of 
its own. Once a year every fire was extinguished for nine days, 
till a ship brought some fresh from Delos off the sacred hearth of 
Apollo : for some days it drifts on the sea without being able to 
land, but as soon as it runs in, there is fire served out to every 
one for domestic use, and a new life begins. The old fire was no 
longer holy enough; by doing without it altogether for a time, 
men would learn to set the true value on the element (see 
Suppl.). 3 Like Vesta, St. Bridget of Ireland (d. 518 or 521) 
had a 'perpetual fire maintained in honour of her near Kildare ; a 
wattled fence went round it, which none but women durst ap- 
proach ; it was only permissible to blow it with bellows, not with 
the mouth. 4 The mode of generating it is not recorded. 

The wonderful amount of harmony in these accounts, and the 
usages of needfire themselves, point back to a high antiquity. 
The wheel seems to be an emblem of the sun, whence light and 
fire proceed; I think it likely that it was provided with nine 

1 Nee tu aliud Vestam quam rivam intelligc flammam, Ov. Fast. 6, 295. 

2 Ace. to the Finnish myth, the fire created hy the gods falls on the sea in 
balls, it is swallowed by a salmon, and men afterwards find it inside the fish when 
caught. Runes pp. 6-22. 

3 Philostr. Heroic, pp. 710. Welcker'a Trilogie, pp. 2-47-8. 

4 Acta sanctor., calend. Febr. p. 112". 


spokes : 'thet niugenspetze fial' survives in the Frisian laws, those 
nine oaken spindles whose friction against the nave produced fire 
signify the nine spokes standing out of the nave, and the same 
sacred number turns up again in the nine kinds of wood, in the 
nine and eighty-one men that rub. We can hardly doubt that 
the wheel when set on fire formed the nucleus and centre of a 
holy and purifying sacrificial flame. Our weisthiiiner (2, 615-6. 
693-7) have another remarkable custom to tell of. At the great 
yearly assize a cartwheel, that had lain six weeks and three days 
soaking in water (or a cesspool), was placed in a fire kindled 
before the judges, and the banquet lasts till the nave, which must 
on no account be turned or poked, be consumed to ashes. This 
I take to be a last relic of the pagan sacrificial feast, and the 
wheel to have been the means of generating the fire, of which it 
is true there is nothing said. In any case we have here the use 
of a cartwheel to feed a festal flame. 

If the majority of the accounts quoted limit the use of need- 
fire to an outbreak of murrain, yet some of them expressly inform 
us that it was resorted to at stated times of the year, especially 
Midsummer, and that the cattle were driven through the flames to 
guard them beforehand against future sicknesses. Nicolaus Gryse 
(Rostock 1593, liii a ) mentions as a regular practice on St. John's 
day : ' Toward nightfall they warmed them by St. John's blaze 
and needfire (nodfiir) that they sawed out of wood, kindling 
tbe same not in God's name but St. John's; leapt and ran 
and drave the cattle therethro', and were fulfilled of thousand 
joys whenas they had passed the night in great sins, shames 
and harms.' 

Of this yearly recurrence we are assured both by the Lemnian 
worship, and more especially by the Celtic. 1 It was in the great 
gatherings at annual feasts that needfire was lighted. These the 
Celtic nations kept at the beginning of May and of November. 
The grand hightide was the Mayday ; I find it falling mostly on 
the 1st of May, yet sometimes on the 2nd or 3rd. This day is 
called in Irish and Gaelic la bealtine or beiltine, otherwise spelt 
beltein, and corrupted into belton, beltlm, beltam. La means day, 

1 Hyde remarks of the Guebers also, that they lighted a fire every year. 


teine or tine fire, and beal, beil, is understood to be the name of 
a god, not directly connected with the Asiatic Belus, 1 but a deity 
of light peculiar to the Celts. This Irish Beal, Beil, Gaelic 
Beal, appears in the Welsh dialect as Beli, and his 0. Celtic 
name of Belenus, Belinus is preserved in Ausonius, Tertullian and 
numerous inscriptions (Forcellini sub v.). The present custom 
is thus described by Armstrong sub v. bealtainn : ' In some parts 
of the Highlands the young folks of a hamlet meet in the moors 
on the first of May. They cut a table in the green sod, of a 
round figure, by cutting a trench in the ground of such circum- 
ference as to hold the whole company. They then kindle a fire, 
and dress a .repast of eggs and milk in the consistence of a 
custard. They knead a cake of oatmeal, which is toasted at the 
embers against a stone. After the custard is eaten up, they 
divide the cake in so many portions, as similar as possible to one 
another in size and shape, as there are persons in the company. 
They daub one of these portions with charcoal until it is perfectly 
black. They then put all the bits of the cake into a bonnet, and 
every one, blindfold, draws out a portion. The bonnet-holder is 
entitled to the last bit. Whoever draws the black bit is the 
devoted person who is to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they 
meam to implore in rendering the year productive. The devoted 
person is compelled to leap three times over the flames.' Here the 
reference to the worship of a deity is too plain to be mistaken : 
we see by the leaping over the flame, that the main point was, to 
select a human being to propitiate the god and make him merci- 
ful, that afterwards an animal sacrifice was substituted for him, 
and finally, nothing remained of the bodily immolation but a leap 
through the fire for man and beast. The holy rite of friction is 
not mentioned here, but as it was necessary for the need fire that 
purged pestilence, it must originally have been much more in 
requisition at the great yearly festival. 

The earliest mention of the beiltine is found in Cormac, arch- 
bishop of Cashel (d. 908). Two fires were lighted side by side, 
and to pass unhurt between them was wholesome for men and 
cattle. Hence the phrase, to express a great danger : 'itir dha 
theiune beil/ i.e. between two fires. 2 That the sacrifice was 

1 Bel, Bal, Isidor. Etym. 8, 23. 

- OTlaherty in Transact, of Irish Acad., vol. 11, rF- 100. 122-3. 


strictly superintended by priests, we are expressely assured by 
Usher (Trias thaumat. p. 125), who founds on Evinus : Lege 
etiam severissima cavebatur, ut omnes ignes per universas re- 
giones ista nocte exstinguerentui', et nulli liceat ignem reaccen- 
dere nisi prius Temoriae (Tighmora, whom we know from Ossian) 
a magis rogus sacrificiorum exstrueretur, et quicunque hanc legem 
in aliquo transgrederetur non alia mulcta quam capitis supplicio 
commissi delicti poenam luebat. 1 

Leo (Malb. gl. i, 35) has ingeniously put forward an antithesis 
between a god of war Beal or Bael, and a god of peace Sighe or 
Sithich; nay, by this distinction he explains the brothers Bel- 
lovesus and Sigovesus in Livy 5, 34 as servants (vesus = Gaelic 
uis, uais, minister) of Beal and Sighe, connecting Sighe with 
that silent peaceful folk the elves, who are called sighe (supra, 
p. 444n.) : to Beal were offered the May fires, bealtine, to Sighe 
the November fires, samlitheine (peace-fire). In Wales too they 
lighted fires on May 1 and Nov. 1, both being called coelcerth 
(see Suppl.). 

I still hesitate to accept all the inferences, but undoubtedly 
Beal must be taken for a divine being, whose worship is likely to 
have extended beyond the Celtic nations. At p. 228 I identified 
him with the German Phol ; and it is of extraordinary value to 
our research, that in the Rhine districts we come upon a Pfultag, 
Pulletag (P.'s day), which fell precisely on the 2nd of May 
(Weisth. 2, 8. 3, 748). We know that our forefathers very 
generally kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is 
still regarded as the trysting-time of witches, i.e. once of wise- 
women and fays; who can doubt that heathen sacrifices blazed 
that day? Pkoltag then answers to Bealteine,- and moreover 
Baldag is the Saxon form for Paltar (p. 229). 

Were the German May-fires, after the conversion, shifted to 
Easter and Midsummer, to adapt them to Christian worship ? Or, 
as the summer solstice was itself deeply rooted in heathenism, is 
it Eastertide alone that represents the ancient May-fires ? For, 
as to the Celtic November, the German Yule or Midwinter might 
easily stand for that, even in heathen times. 

i Conf the accounts in Mone's Geschichte des heidenth. 2, 485. 
2 All over England on the 1st of May they set up a May pole, which may be 
from pole, palus, AS. pol ; yet Pol, Phol may deserve to be taken into account too. 


AVhichever way we settle that, our very next investigations 
will shew, that beside both needfire and bealtine, other fires are 
to be found almost all over Europe. 

It is not unimportant to observe, that in the north of Germany 
they take place at Easter, in the south at Midsummer. There 
they betoken the entrance of spring, here the longest day; as 
before, it all turns upon whether the people are Saxon or Frank. 
All Lower Saxony, Westphalia, and Lower Hesse, Gelders, 
Holland, Friesland, Jutland, and Zealand have Easter fires ; up 
the Rhine, in Franconia, Thuringia, Swabia, Bavaria, Austria, 
and Silesia, Midsummer fires carry the day. Some countries, 
however, seem to do homage to both, as Denmark and Carinthia. 

Easter Fires. — At all the cities, towns and villages of a country, 
towards evening on the first (or third) day of Easter, there is 
lighted every year on mountain and hill a great fire of straw, turf, 
and wood, amidst a concourse and jubilation, not only of the 
young, but of many grown-up people. On the Weser, especially 
in Schaumburg, they tie up a tar-barrel on a fir-tree wrapt round 
with straw, and set it on fire at night. Men and maids, and all 
who come, dance exulting and singing, hats are waved, handker- 
chiefs thrown into the fire. The mountains all round are lighted 
up, and it is an elevating spectacle, scarcely paralleled by any- 
thing else, to survey the country for many miles round from one 
of the higher points, and in every direction at once to see a vast 
number of these bonfires, brighter or fainter, blazing up to heaven. 
In some places they marched up the hill in stately procession, 
carrying white rods ; by turns they sang Easter hymns, grasping 
each other's hands, and at the Hallelujah clashed their rods to- 
gether. They liked to carry some of the fire home with them. 1 

No doubt we still lack many details as to the manner of keep- 
ing Easter fires in various localities. It is worth noting, that at 
Braunrode in the Harz the fires are lighted at evening twilight 

1 Job. Timeus On the Easter fire, Hamb. 1590; a reprint of it follows Reiske'a 
Notfeuer. Letzner's Historia S. Bonif., Hildesh. 1G02. 4, cap. 12. LeukMd's 
Antiq.. gandersh. pp. 4-5. Eberh. Baring's Beschr. der (Lauensteiner) Saala, 
174 1. '2, 96. Hamb. mag. 2G, 302 (1702). Hannov. mag. 176G, p. 216. Rath- 
lef's Diepholz, Brern. 17(57. 3, 36-42. (Pratjo's) Bremen und Verden 1, 165. 
Bragur vi. 1, 35. Geldersche volksalmanak voor 1835, p. 19. Easter fire is in 
]>:mish paatke-blus or -Must; whether Sweden has the custom I do not know, but 
Olaus Magnus 15, 5 affirms that Scandinavia has Midsummer fires. Still more 
surprising that England has no trace of an Easter fire ; we have, a report of such 
from Carinthia in Sartori's Heisu 2, 350. 



of the first Easter day, but before that, old and young sally out 
of that village and Griefenhagen into the nearest woodlands to 
hunt up the squirrels. These they chase by throwing stones and 
cudgels, till at last the animals drop exhausted into their hands, 
dead or alive. This is said to be an old-established custom. 1 

For these ignes paschales there is no authority reaching beyond 
the 1 6th century; but they must be a great deal older, if only for 
the contrast with Midsummer fires, which never could peneti'ate 
into North Germany, because the people there held fast by their 
Easter fires. Now, seeing that the fires of St. John, as we shall 
presently shew, are more immediately connected with the Christian 
church than those of Easter, it is not unreasonable to trace these 
all the way back to the worship of the goddess star a or Edstre 
(p. 291), who seems to have been more a Saxon and Anglian 
divinity than one revered all over Germany. Her name and her 
fires, which are likely to have come at the beginning of May, 
would after the conversion of the Saxons be shifted back to the 
Christian feast. 2 Those mountain fires of the people are scarcely 
derivable from the taper lighted in the church the same day : it 
is true that Boniface, ep. 87 (Wiirdtw.), calls it ignis paschalis, 3 
and such Easter lights are still mentioned in the 16th century. 4 
Even now in the Hildesheim country they light the lamp on 
Maundy Thursday, and that on Easterday, at an Easter fire which 
has been struck with a steel. The people flock to this fire, cai-ry- 
ing oaken crosses or simply crossed sticks, which they set on fire 
and then preserve for a whole year. But the common folk dis- 
tinguish between this fire and the wild fire elicited by rubbing 
wood. Jager (Ulm, p. 521) speaks of a consecration of fire and 
of logs. 

1 Bosenkranz, Neue zeitschr. f. gesch. der germ. volk. i. 2, 7. 

2 Letzner says (ubi supra), that betwixt Brunstein and Wibbrechtshausen, 
where Boniface had overthrown the heathen idol Beto (who may remind us of Beda's 
Bheda), on the same Betberg the people ' did after sunset on Easter day, even 
within the memory of man, hold the Easter fire, which the men of old named 
botfts-thorn.' 1 On the margin stands his old authority again, the lost Conradus 
Fontanus (supra p. 190). How the fire itself should come by the name of buck's or 
goat's thorn, is hard to see ; it is the name of a shrub, the tragacanth. Was bocks- 
thorn thrown into the Easter flames, as certain herbs were into the Midsummer 

3 N.B., some maintain that the Easter candle was ignited by burning-glasses 
or crystals (Serrarius ad Epist. Bonif. p. 343). 

4 Franz Weasel's Beschreibung des piibstlichen gottesdienstes, Stralsund ed. by 
Zober, 1837, p. 10. 



Almost everywhere during the last hundred', years the feeble- 
ness of governments has deprived the people of their Easter fi res 
(see Suppl.). 1 

Midsummer Fires. 2 — In our older speech, the most festive 
season of the year, when the sun has reached his greatest height 
and must thence decline again, is named sunewende =$unnewende 
(sun's wending, solstice), commonly in the plural, because this 
high position of the sun lasts several days: ' ze einen sunewenden/ 
Nib. 32, 4; 'zen nsehsten sunewenden/ Nib. 1424,4. Wigal. 1717; 
' vor disen sunewenden/ Nib. 678, 3. 694, 3 ; ' ze sunewenden/ 
Trist. 5987 (the true reading comes out in Groot's variants) ; ' an 
sunewenden abent/ Nib. 1754, 1 ; ' nach sunewenden/ Iw. 2941. s 
Now, as Midsummer or St. John's day (June 24), ' sant Johans 
sunewenden tac/ Ls. 2, 708, coincides with this, the fires in 
question are called in Up. German documents of the 14- 15th 
century sunwentfeuer, sunbentfewr, 4, and even now among the 
Austrian and Bavarian peasantry sunawetsfoir, sunwentsfeuer. 
H. Sachs 1,423 d : 'auch schiirn die bubn (lads poke) sunwent- 
feuer.' At this season were held great gatherings of the people : 
1 die nativitatis S. Johannis baptistae in conventu populi maxima ' 
(Pertz 2, 3S6) ; this was in 860. In 801 Charles the Great kept 
this festival at Eporedia, now Ivrea (Pertz 1, 190. 223) ; and 
Lewis the Pious held assemblies of the Empire on the same day 
in 824 and 831. Descriptions of Midsummer fires agree with 
those of Easter fires, with of course some divergences. At 
Gernsheim in the Mentz country, the fire when lighted is blessed 
by the priest, and there is singing and prayer so long as it burns ; 
when the flame goes out, the children jump over the glimmering 
coals; formerly grown-up people did the same. In Superst. I, 

1 ' Judic. inquiry resp. the Easter fire burned, prohib., on the Kogeln- 
berg near Volkmarsen, Apr. 9, 1833,' see Niederhess. wochenbl. 1834, p. 2229*. 
The older prohibitions allege the unchristian character, later ones the waste ot 
timber. Even bonfires for a victory were very near being suppressed. 

- The best treatise is : Franc. Const, de Khautz de ritu ignis in natali B. 
Johannis bapt. accensi, Vindob. 1759, 8vo. 

3 All the good MSS. have, not sunnewende, but sunewende, which can onlj 
stand for sunwende, formed like suntac. We also find ' zu sungihtenj Scheffer s 
Haltaus, pp. 109, 110 ; giht here corresp. to Goth, gahts (gressus), and allows us to 
guess an OHG. sunnagaht. 

4 Halm's Monum. 2, 693. Sutner's Berichtigungen, Munch. 1797, p. 107 (an. 


848 we are told how a garland is plaited of nine sorts of flowers. 
Reiske (ut supra, p. 77) says : ' the fire is made under the open 
sky, the youth and the meaner folk leap over it, and all manner 
of herbs are cast into it : like these, may all their troubles go off 
in fii*e and smoke ! In some places they light lanterns outside 
their chambers at night, and dress them with red poppies or 
anemones, so as to make a bright glitter/ At Niirnberg the 
lads go about begging billets of wood, cart them to the Bleacher's 
pond by the Spital-gate, make a fire of them, and jump over it ; 
this keeps them in health the whole year (conf. Sup. I, 918). 
They invite passers by to have a leap, who pay a few kreuzers 
for the privilege. In the Fulda country also the boys beg for 
wood to burn at night, and other presents, while they sing a 
rhyme : ' Da kommen wir her gegangen Mit spiessen und mit 
stangen, Und wollen die eier (eggs) langen. Feuerrothe bliime- 
lein, An der erde springt der wein, Gebt ihr uns der eier ein 
Zum Johannisfeuer , Der haber is gar theuer (oats are so dear). 
Haberje, haberju! frifrefrid ! Gebt uns doch ein schiet (scheit, 
billet)!' (J. v. u. f. Deutschl. 1790. 1, 313.) Similar rhymes 
from Franconia and Bavaria, in Schm. 3, 262. In the Austrian 
Donaulandchen on St. John's eve they light fires on the hill, lads 
and lasses jump over the flames amid the joyful cries and songs 
of the spectators (Reil, p. 41). ' Everywhere on St. John's eve 
there was merry leaping over the sonnenwendefeuer, and mead was 
drunk over it/ is Denis's recollection of his youthful days (Lesefr. 
1, 130). At Ebingen in Swabia they boiled pease over the fire, 
which were laid by and esteemed wholesome- for bruises and 
wounds (Schmid's Schwab, id. 167); conf. the boiling over need- 
fires (p. 610). Greg. Strigenitius (b. 1548, d. 1603), in a sermon 
preached on St. John's day and quoted in Ecc. Fr. or. i. 425, 
observes, that the people (in Meissen or Thuringia) dance and 
sing round the Midsummer fires ; that one man threw a horse's 
head into the flame, meaning thereby to force the witches to fetch 
some of the fire for themselves. Seb. Frank in his Weltbuch 
51 b : ' On St. John's day they make a simet fire [corrupt, of sun- 
went], and moreover wear upon them, I know not from what 
superstition, quaint wreaths of mugwort and monks-hood ; nigh 
every one hath a blue plant named larkspur in hand, and whoso 
looketh into the fire thro' the same, hath never a sore eye all that 


year ; he that would depart home unto his house, casteth this his 
plant into the fire, saying, So depart all mine ill-fortune and be 
burnt up with this herb ! ' l So, on the same day, were the wav< is 
of water to wash away with them all misfortune (p. 589). But 
in earlier times the polite world, even princes and kings, took 
part in these bonfires. Peter Herp's Ann. francof. tell us, ad an. 
1489 (Senkenb. Sel. 2, 22) : 'In vigilia S. Joh. bapt. rogus ingens 
fuit factus ante domum consilium in for o (francofurtensi), fuerunt- 
que multa vexilla depicta posita in struem lignorum, et vexillum 
regis in supremo positum, et circa ligna rami virentes positi. 
fuitque magna chorea dominorum, rege inspiciente.' At Augsburg 
in 1497, in the Emp. Maximilian's presence, the fair Susanna 
Neithard kindled the Midsummer fire toitli a torch, and with 
Philip the Handsome led the first ring-dance round the fire} 
A Munich voucher of 1401 renders account : ' umb gras und 
knechten, die dy pank ab dem haws auf den margt trugen 
(carried benches to the market-place) an der sunbentnacht, da 
herzog Stephan und sein gemachel (consort) und das frawel auf 
dem margt tanzten mit den purgerinen bei dem suribentfwr/ (Sut- 
ner's Berichtig. p. 107). On St. John's eve 1578, the Duke of 
Liegnitz had a bonfire made on the Gredisberg, as herr Gotsch 
did on the Kynast, at which the Duke himself was present with 
his court (Schweinichen 2, 347). 

We have a fuller description of a Midsummer fire made in 
1823 at Konz, a Lorrainian but still German village on the 
Moselle, near Sierk and Thionville. Every house delivers a truss 
of straw on the top of the Stromberg, where men and youths 
assemble towards evening; women and girls are stationed by the 
Burbach spring. Then a huge wheel is wrapt round ivith straw, 


1 On June 20, 1653, the Nurnberg town-council issued the following order : 
■Whereas experience heretofore hath shewn, that alter the old heathenish use, on 
John's day in every year, in the country, as well in towns as villages, money and 
wood hath been gathered by young folk, and thereupon the so-called sonnenwendt or 
timmet fire kindled, and thereat winebibbiiif,', dancing about the said fur, leaping 
over the same, with burning of sundry herbs am! flowers, and setting of brands from 
the said fire in the fields, and in many other ways all manner of superstitious work 
carried on — Therefore the Hon. Council of Nurnberg town neither can nor ought 
to forbear to do away with all such unbecoming superstition, pagani am, and peril 
(if fire on this coming day of St. John (Neuer lit. anz. 1HU7, p. 318). [Sunwend 
tires forbidden in Austria in 1850, in spite of Goethe's ' Fires of John we'll cherish, 
"Why should jdadness perish? ' — Suppl.] 

- Gasseri Ann. august., ad an. 1197, Schm. 3, 261 ; conf. Ranke's Roman, u. 
German, volk. 1, 102. 


so that none of the wood is left in sight, a strong pole is passed 
through the middle, which sticks out a yard on each side, and is 
grasped by the guiders of the wheel ; the remainder of the straw 
is tied up into a number of small torches. At a signal given 
by the Maire of Sierk (who, according to ancient custom, earns 
a basket of cherries by the service), the wheel is lighted with a 
torch, and set rapidly in motion, a shout of joy is raised, all wave 
their torches on high, part of the men stay on the hill, part follow 
the rolling globe of fire as it is guided downhill to the Moselle. It 
often goes out first ; but if alight when it touches the river, 
it prognosticates an abundant vintage, and the Konz people have 
a right to levy a tun of white wine from the adjacent vineyards. 
Whilst the wheel is rushing past the women and girls, they 
break out into cries of joy, answered by the men on the hill ; and 
inhabitants of neighbouring villages, who have flocked to the 
river side, mingle their voices in the universal rejoicing. 1 

In the same way the butchers of Treves are said to have yearly 
sent down a wheel of fire into the Moselle from the top of the 
Paulsberg (see Suppl.). 2 

The custom of Midsummer fires and wheels in France is 
attested even by writers of the 12th and 13th centuries, John 
Beleth, a Parisian divine, who wrote about 1162 a Summa de 
divinis officiis, and William Durantis, b. near Beziers in Langue- 
doc, about 1237, d. 1296, the well-known author of the Rationale 
divinor. offic. (written 1286; conf. viii. 2, 3 de epacta). In the 
Summa (printed at Dillingen, 1572) cap. 137, fol. 256, and thence 
extracted in the Rationale vii. 14, we find : ' Feruntur quoque 
(in festo Joh. bapt.) brandae seu faces ardentes et Sunt ignes, 
qui significant S. Johaunem, qui fuit lumen et lucerna ardens, 
praecedens et praecursor verae lucis . . . ; rota in quibusdam 
locis volvitur, ad significandum, quod sicut sol ad altiora sui 
circuli pervenit, nee altius potest progredi, sed tunc sol descendit 
in circulo, sic et faina Johannis, qui putabatur Christus, descendit 

1 Mem. des antiquaires de Fr. 5, 383-6. 

2 ' In memory of the hermit Paulus, who in the mid. of the 7th cent, hurled 
the idol Apollo from Mt. Gebenna, near Treves, into the Moselle,' thinks the writer 
of the article on Konz, pp. 387-8. If Trithem's De viris illustr. ord. S. Bened. 4, 
201, is to vouch for this, I at least can only find at p. 142 of Opp. pia et spirit. 
Mogunt. 1605, that Paulus lived opposite Treves, on Cevenna, named Mons Pauli 
after him ; hut of Apollo and the firewheel not a word [and other authorities are 
equally silent] . 


secundum quod ipse testimonium perhibet, dicens : me oportet 
minui, ilium autem crescere.' Much older, but somewhat vague, 
is the testimony of Eligius : ' Nullus in festivitate S. Johannis 
vel quibuslibet sanctorum solemuitatibus solstitia (?) aut valla- 
tiones vel saltationes aut casaulas aut cantica diabolica exerceat. n 
In great cities, Paris, Metz, and many more, as late as the 
15-16-1 7th centuries, the pile of wood was reared in the public 
square before the town hall, decorated with flowers and foliage, 
and set on fire by the Maire himself. 2 Many districts in the 
south have retained the custom to this day. At Aix, at 
Marseille, all the streets and squares are cleaned up on St. John's 
Day, early in the morning the country folk bring flowers into the 
town, and everybody buys some, every house is decked with 
greenery, to which a healing virtue is ascribed if plucked before 
sunrise : ' aco soun dherbas de san Jean.' Some of the plants 
are thrown into the flame, the youug people jump over it, jokes are 
played on passers-by with powder trains and hidden fireworks, 
or they are squirted at and soused with water from the windows. 
In the villages they ride on mules and donkeys, carrying lighted 
branches of fir in their hands. 3 

In many places they drag some of the charred brands and 
charcoal to their homes : salutary and even magical effects are 
supposed to flow from these (Superst. French 27. 30. 34). 

In Poitou, they jump three times round the fire with a branch of 
walnut in their hands (Mem. des antiq. 8, 451). Fathers of 
families whisk a bunch of white mullein (bouillon blanc) and a 
leafy spray of walnut through the flame, aud both are afterwards 
nailed up over the cowhouse door; while the youth dance and 
sing, old men put some of the coal in their wooden shoes as 
a safeguard against innumerable woes (ibid. 4, 110). 

In the department of Hautes Pyrenees, on the 1st of May, 

1 The Kaiserchronik (Cod. pal. 361, l b ) on the celebration of the Sunday : 

Swenne injioni der sunnintac, 

so vllzete sichRome al diu stat (all R. bestirred itself), 

wie si den got inouten geeren (to honour the god), 

die allirwisisten herren (wisest lords) 

vuorten einiz al umbe die stat (carried a thing round the city) 

daz was getchaffen name ein rat (shapen like a wheel) 

mit brinnenden liehien (with buruiug lights) ; 

6 wie groze sie den got zierten (greatly glorified the god) ! 

- Mem. de l'acad. celt. 2, 77-8. 3, 447. 

3 Milliu's Voyage dans le midi 3, 28. 341-j. 


every commune looks out the tallest and slenderest tree, a pine or 
fir on the hills, a poplar in the plains ; when they have lopped 
all the boughs off, they drive into it a number of wedges a foot 
long, and keep it till the 23rd of June. Meanwhile it splits 
diamond-shape where the wedges were inserted, and is now rolled 
and dragged up a mountain or hill. There the priest gives it his 
blessing, they plant it upright in the ground, and set it on fire 
(ibid. 5, 387). 

Strutt 1 speaks of Midsummer fires in England: they were 
lighted on Midsummer Eve, and kept up till midnight, often till 
cock-crow ; the youth danced round the flame, in garlands of 
motherwort and vervain, with violets in their hands. In Denmark 
they are called Sanct Hans aftens bins, but also gadeild (street- 
fire), because they are lighted in public streets or squares, and on 
hills. [Is not gade conn, with sunna-gaht, p. 617 ?] Imagining 
that all poisonous plants came up out of the ground that night, 
people avoided lingering on the grass ; but wholesome plants 
(chamaemelum and bardanum) they hung up in their houses. 
Some however shift these street-fires to May-day eve. 2 Nor- 
way also knows the custom: 'S. Hans aften brandes der baal 
ved alle griner (hedged country-lanes), hvilket skal fordrive ondt 
(harm) fra creaturerne/ Sommerfeldt's Saltdalen, p. 121. But 
some words quoted by Hallager p. 13 are worth noting, viz. 
brandshat for the wood burnt in the fields, and brising for the 
kindled fire ; the latter reminds us of the gleaming necklace of 
Freyja (p. 306-7), and may have been transferred from the flame 
to the jewel, as well as from the jewel to the flame. 

There is no doubt that some parts of Italy had Midsummer 
fires : at Orvieto they were exempted from the restrictions laid 
on other fires. 3 Italian sailors lighted them on board ship out 
at sea, Fel. Fabri Evagat. 1, 170. And Spain is perhaps to 
be included on the strength of a passage in the Romance de 
Guarinos (Silva, p. 113) : 

1 Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, by Jos. Strutt. New ed. by 
WHone. Lond. 1830, p. 359. 

2 Molbech's Dialect. Lex. 150. Lyngbye's Nord. tidskr. for oldk. 2, 352-9. Finn 
Magn. Lex. myth. 1091-4. Arndt's Keise durch Schweden 3, 72-3. 

3 Statuta urbevetana, an. 1491. 3, 51 : Quicunque sine licentia officialis fecerit 
ignem in aliqua festivitate de nocte in civitate, in xl sol. denarior. pnniatnr, 
excepta festivitate S. Johannis bapt. de mense Junii, et qui in ilia nocte furatus 
fuerit vel abstulerit ligna Tel tabulas alterius in lib. x den. puuiatur. 


Yanse dias, vionen dias, venido era el de Sent Juan, 
donde Christianos y Moros hazen gran solenidad : 
los Christianos echan juncia, y los Moros arrayhan, 
los Judios echan eneas, por la fiesta mas honrar. 

Here nothing is said of fire, 1 but we are told that the Christians 
strew rushes, the Moors myrtle, the Jews reeds ; and the throw- 
ing- of flowers and herbs into the flame seems an essential part 
of the celebration, e.g. mugwort, monks-hood, larkspur (p. G18), 
mullein and walnut leaves (p. G21). Hence the collecting of 
all such John's-herbs in Germany (Superst. I, 157. 189. 190), and 
of S. Hems urter (worts) in Denmark (K, 126), and the like in 
France (L, 4). According to Casp. Zeumer's De igne in festo 
S. Joh. accendi solito, Jenae 1699, the herb akihfia (?) was 
diligently sought on that day and hung up over doors. 

In Greece the women make a fire on Midsummer Eve, and 
jump over it, crying, ' I leave my sins/ In Servia they think the 
feast is so venerable, that the sun halts three times in reverence. 2 
On the day before it, the herdsmen tie birchbark into torches, 
and having lighted them, they first march round the sheepfolds 
and cattle-pens, then go up the hills and let them burn out (Vuk 
sub v. Ivan dan). Other Slav countries have similar observances. 
In Sartori's Journey through Carinthia 3, 349-50, we find the 
rolling of St. John's fiery wheel fully described. Midsummer- 
day or the solstice itself is called by the Slovens kres, by the 
Croats hresz, i.e. striking of light, from kresati (ignem elicere), 
Pol. krzesac ; and as May is in Irish mi-na-bealtine (fire-month), 
so June in Slovenic is kresnik. At the kres there were leaps of 
joy performed at night ; of lighting by friction I find no mention. 
Poles and Bohemians called the Midsummer fire sobotka, i.e. little 
Saturday, as compared with the great sobota (Easter Eve) ; the 

1 It is spoken of more definitely by Martinus de Aries, canonicus of Pampeluna 
(cir. 1510), in his treatise De superstitionibus (Tract, tractattram, ed. Lugd. 1544. 
9, 133) : Cum in die S. Johannis propter jucunditatem multa pie aguntur a 
fidelibus. puta pulsatio campanarum et ignes jucunditatis, similiter summo mane 
i ' uiit ad colligendas herbas odoriferas et optimas et medicinales ex sua natura et 

oitudine virtutum propter tempus. . . quidam ignes accendunt in compitis 
viarum, in agris, ne inde sortilegae et maleficae ilia nocte trausitum faciant, ut 
ego propriis oculis vidi. Alii herbas collectas in die S. Johannis incendentes contra 
fulgura, tonitrua et tempestates credunt suis fumigatiouibus arcere daeinones et 

2 As he is supposed to leap tbree times at Easter (p. 291). 


Bohemians used to lead their coivs over it to protect them from 
witchcraft. The Russian name was kupdlo, which some explain 
by a god of harvest, Kiipalo : youths and maidens, garlanded with 
flowers and girt with holy herbs, assembled on the 24th June, 
lighted a fire, leapt and led their flocks over it, singing hymns the 
while in praise of the god. They thought thereby to shield 
their cattle from the leshis or woodsprites. At times a white cock 
is said to have been burnt in the fire amid dance and soug. Even 
now the female saint, whose feast the Greek ritual keeps on this 
day [Agrippina] , has the by-name kupdlnitsa ; a burning pile of 
wood is called the same, and so, according to Karamzin, is the 
flower that is strewn on St. John's Day [ranunculus, crowfoot] .* 
This fire seems to have extended to the Lithuanians too : I find 
that with them kupoles is the name of a St. John's herb. Tettau 
and Temme p. 277 report, that in Prussia and Lithuania, on 
Midsummer Eve fires blaze on all the heights, as far as the eye 
can .reach. The next morning they drive their cattle to pasture 
over the remains of these fires, as a specific against murrain, 
magic and milk-drought, yet also against hailstroke and lightning. 
The lads who lighted the fires go from house to house collecting- 
milk. On the same Midsummer Eve they fasten large burs and 
inugwort (that is to say, kupoles) over the gate or gap through 
which the cattle always pass. 

Now at a bird's-eye view we perceive that these fires cover 
nearly all Europe, and have done from time immemorial. About 
them it might seem a great deal more doubtful than about water- 
lustration (pp. 585. 590), whether they are of heathen or of Chris- 
tian origin. The church had appropriated them so very early to 
herself, and as Beleth and Durantis shew, had made them point 
to John ; the clergy took some part in their celebration, though 
it never passed entirely into their hands, but was mainly con- 
ducted by the secular authorities and the people itself (see Suppl.) . 

Paciaudi 3 labours to prove that the fires of St. John have 
nothing to do with the far older heathenish fires, but have sprung 
out of the spirit of Christian worship. 

1 Karamzin 1. 73. 81. 284. Gotze's Russ. volksl. p. 230-2. Dobrovsky denies 
a god Kupalo, and derives the feast from kupa (haycock) ; Hanusch p. 201 from 
kupel, kaupel, kupadlo (bath, pond), because ace. to Slav notions the sun rises out 
of bis bath, or because pouring of water may have been practised at the festival. 

2 De cultu S. Johannis baptistae, Romae 1755, dissert. 8, cap. 1. 2. 

(palilia). 625 

Iu Deut. 18, 10 and 2 Chron. 28, 3 is mentioned the heathen 
custom of making so?is and daughters pass through afire. In 
reference to this, Theodoret bp. of Cyrus (d. 458), makes a note 
on 2 Kings 16, 3 : elSov yap ev tlctl nroXecnv aira% rov erovs iv 
Ta?9 7rAaTeuu? innojAevas Trvpds KauTavra^ rivas virepaWo/xevov^ 
/cal 7rr}8(ovTa<; ov p,6vov TralSas dWd icai avhpas, tcl 84 <ye /3p£(p7] 
irapa twv pLwrepoiv 7rapa(p€p6p,eva Sod tt}? ^A-0769. eSo/cei 8k 
tovto d7roTpo7TLaa-p,6<i elvat ical /cddapais. (In some towns I saw 
•pyres lighted once a year in the streets, and not only children 
but men leaping over them, and the infants passed through the 
flame by their mothers. This was deemed a protective expiation). 1 
He says ' once a year/ but does not specify the day, which would 
have shewn us whether the custom was imported into Syria 
from Rome. On April 21, the day of her founding, Borne kept 
the palilia, an ancient feast of herdsmen, in honour of Pales, a 
motherly divinity reminding us of Ceres and Vesta. 2 This date 
does not coincide with the solstice, but it does with the time of 
the Easter fire ; the ritual itself, the leaping over the flame, the 
driving of cattle through the glowing embers, is quite the same 
as at the Midsummer fire and needfire. A few lines from Ovid's 
description in the 4th book of the Fasti shall suffice : 

727. certe ego transilui positas ter in ordine flammas. 
781. moxque per ardentes stipidae crepitantis acervos 

trajicias celeri strenua membra pede. 
795. pars quoque, quum saxis pastores saxa feribant, 

scintillam subito prosiluisse ferunt ; 
prima quidem periit ; stipulis excepta secunda est, 

hoc argumeutum flamma palilis habet. 
805. per flammas saluisse pecus, saluisse colonos ; 

quod fib natali nunc quoque, Roma, tuo (see Suppl.). 

The shepherds had struck the fire out of stone, and caught it on 
straw ; the leaping through it was to atone and cleanse, and to 
secure their flock against all harm. That children were placed in 
the fire by their mothers, we are not told here ; we know how 
the infant Demophoou or Triptolemus was put in the fire by 

I Opp., ed. Sirmond, Paris, 1CA2. 1, 352. 

8 The masc. Pales, which also occurs, may remind us of the Slav god of 
shepherds, Buss. Vulus, Boh. Weles. 


Ceres, as Achilles was by Thetis, to insure his immortality. 1 This 
fire-worship seems equally at home in Canaan, Syria, Greece and 
Rome, so that we are not justified in pronouncing it a borrowed 
and imported thing in any one of them. It is therefore hard to 
determine from what source the Christians afterwards drew, when 
they came to use it in their Easter and Midsummer festivals, or on 
other occasions. Canon 65 of the Council of a.d. 680 already 
contains a prohibition of these superstitious fires at new moon : 
Ta<? ev ral<i vou/jur/vlais inrb rivwv irpb tcov olrceiaiv ipyacrrvpicov i) 
oIkwv avaTTTOfxeva^ irvpicaias, a<? /cal vTrepdWeaOai rtves, Kara 
to e0os apyalov, kirtyeipovcrtv, curb TrapovTos KarapywOrjvai 
irpoaraTTOfxev (The fires kindled before workshops and houses at 
new moon, which some also leap over after the ancient custom, 
we command henceforth to be abolished). The same thing was 
then forbidden, which afterwards, on St. John's day at least, was 
tolerated, and to some extent connected with church ordinances. 

Now, even supposing that the Midsummer fire almost universal 
throughout Europe had, like the Midsummer bath, proceeded more 
immediately from the church, and that she had picked it up in 
Italy directly from the Roman palilia ; it does not follow yet, that 
our Easter fires in northern Germany are a mere modification of 
those at Midsummer. We are at liberty to derive them straight 
from fires of our native heathenism : in favour of this view is the 
difference of day, perhaps also their ruder form ; to the last there 
was more earnestness about them, and more general participation ; 
Midsummer fires were more elegant and tasteful, but latterly con- 
fined to children and common people alone, though princes and 
nobles had attended them before. Mountain and hill are essential 
to Easter fires, the Solstitial fire was frequently made in streets 
and marketplaces. Of jumping through the fire, of flowers and 
wreaths, I find scarcely a word in connexion with the former ; 
friction of fire is only mentioned a few times at the Midsummer 
fire, never at the Easter, and yet this friction is the surest mark 
of heathenism, and — as with needfire in North Germany, so with 
Easter fires there — may safely be assumed. Only of these last 
we have no accounts whatever. The Celtic bel-fires, and if my 
conjecture be right, our Phol-days, stand nearly midway betwixt 

1 Conf. the superstitious ' filium in fornacnn pnvere pro sanitate febrium,' 
and 'ponere infanteni juxta ignem, Superst. B, 10. 14, and p. 200\ 


Easter and Midsummer, but Dearer to Easter when that falls late. 
A feature common to all three, and perhaps to all public fires 
of antiquity, is the wheel, as friction is to all the ancient Easter 

I must not omit to mention, that fires were also lighted at 
the season opposite to summer, at Christmas, and in Lent. To 
the Yule-fire answers the Gaelic samhtheine (p. 614) of the 1st 
November. In France they have still in vogue the souche de 
Noel (from dies natalis, Prov. natal) or the trefue (log that burns 
three days, Superst.K, 1. 28), conf.the trefoir in Brand's Pop.antiq. 
1, 468. At Marseille they burnt the calendeau or caligneau, a 
large oaken log, sprinkling it with wine and oil ; it devolved on 
the master of the house to set light to it (Millin 3, 336). In 
Dauphine they called it chalendal, it was lighted on Christmas 
eve and sprinkled with wine, they considered it holy, and had 
to let it burn out in peace (Champol.-Figeac, p. 124). Christmas- 
tide was called chalendes, Prov. calendas ( Kaynouard 1, 292), 
because New-year commenced on Dec. 25. In Germany I find 
the same custom as far back as the 12th cent. A document of 
1184 (Kindl.'s Miinst. beitr. ii. urk. 34) says of the parish priest 
of Ahlen in Miinsterland : ' et arborem in nativitate Domini ad 
festivum ignem swum adducendam esse dicebat.'' The hewing of 
the Christmas block is mentioned in the Weisthumer 2, 264. 302. 
On the Engl, yule-clog see Sup. I, 1109, and the Scandinav. 
julblolc is well known; the Lettons call Christmas eve bluhku 
walxkars, block evening, from the carrying about and burning of 
the log (blukkis). 1 Seb. Frank (Weltbuch 51 a ) reports the fol- 
lowing Shrovetide customs from Franconia : ' In other places they 
draw a fiery plough kindled by a fire cunningly made thereon, till 
it fall in pieces (supra, p. 264). Item, they wrap a waggon-wheel 
all round in straw, drag it up an high steep mountain, and hold 
thereon a merrymaking all the day, so they may for the cold, 
with many sorts of pastime, as singing, leaping, dancing, odd or 
even, and other pranks. About the time of vespers they set the 
wheel afire, and let it run into the vale at full speed, which to look 
upon is like as the sun were running from the sky/ iSuch a 

1 ' So the Lith. fcant'dus = Christmas, frciu kalada, a log.' — Suppl. 


'hoop-trundling ' on Shrove Tuesday is mentioned by Schrn. 1, 
544; the day is called funkentag (spunk.), in the Rheingau hall- 
feuer, in France ' la fete des brandons.' l It is likely that similar 
fires take place here and there in connexion with the vintage. 
In the Voigtland on Mayday eve, which would exactly agree with 
the bealteine, you may see fires on most of the hills, and children 
with blazing brooms (Jul. Schmidt's Reichenf. 118). Lastly, the 
Servians at Christmas time light a log of oak newly cut, badniah, 
and pour wine upon it. The cake they bake at such a fire and 
hand round (Vuk's Montenegro, 105) recalls the Gaelic practice 
(p. 613). The Slavs called the winter solstice koleda, Pol. 
koleda, Russ. koliada, answering to the Lat. calendae and the 
chalendes above ; 2 they had games and dances, but the burning 
of fires is not mentioned. In Lower Germany too kaland had 
become an expression for feast and revelry (we hear of kaland- 
gilden, kalandbriider), without limitation to Christmas time, or 
any question of fires accompanying it (see Suppl.). 

If in the Mid. Ages a confusion was made of the two Johns, 
the Baptist and the Evangelist, I should incline to connect with 
St. John's fire the custom of St. John's minne (p. 61), which by 
rights only concerns the beloved disciple. It is true, no fire 
is spoken of in connexion with it, but fires were an essential 
part of the old Norse minne-drinking, and I should think the 
Sueves with their barrel of ale (p. 56) burnt fires too. In the 
Saga Hakonar g6Sa, cap. 16, we are told: ' eldar scyldo vera a 
midjo golfi i hofino, oc ]?ar katlar yfir, oc scyldi full of eld bera,' 
should bear the cups round the fire. Very striking to my mind 
is the ' dricka eldborgs skill ' still practised in a part of Sweden 
and Norway (Sup. K, 122-3). At Candlemas two tall caudles 
are set, each member of the household in turn sits down between 
them, takes a drink out of a wooden beaker, then throws the 
vessel backwards over his head. If it fall bottom upwards, the 
thrower will die; if upright, he remains alive. 3 Early in the 
morning the goodwife has been up making her fire and baking ; 
she now assembles her servants in a half-circle before the oven 

1 Sup. K, 16. Mem. des antiquaires 1, 236. 4, 371. 

2 Other derivations have been attempted, Hanusch 192-3. [See note, p. 627, 
on Lith. kalledos.'] 

3 A similar throwing backwards of an emptied glass on other occasions, Sup. I, 

514. 707. 


door, they all bend the knee, take one bite of cake, and drink 
eldborgssk&l (the fire's health) ; what is left of cake or drink is 
cast into the flame. An unmistakeable vestige of heathen fire- 
worship, shifted to the christian feast of candle-consecration as 
the one that furnished the nearest parallel to it. 

Our of en, MHG. oven, OHG. ovan, ON. on represents the Goth. 
auhns, 0. Swed. omn, ofn, ogn, Svved. ugn, Dan. on ; they all 
mean fornax, i.e. the receptacle in which, fire is inclosed (conf. 
focus, fuoco, feu), but originally it was the name of the fire itself, 
Slav, or/an, ogen, ogn, Boh. ohen, Lith. ugnis, Lett, ugguns, Lat. 
ignis, Sanskr. Agni the god of fire. Just as the Swedish servants 
kneel down before the ugns-hol, our German marchen and sagen 
have retained the feature of kneeling before the oven and praying 
to it; the unfortunate, the persecuted, resort to the oven, and 
hewail their woe, they reveal to it some secret which they dare not 
confide to the world. 1 What would otherwise appear childish is 
explained : they are forms and formulas left from the primitive 
fire-worship, and no longer understood. In the same way people 
complain and confess to mother earth, to a stone, a plant, an oak, 
or to the reed (Morolt 1438). This personification of the oven 
hangs together with Mid. Age notions about orcus and hell as 
places of fire. Conf. Erebi fornax (Walthar. 867), and what was 
said above, p. 256, on Fornax. 

The luminous element permitted a feast to be prolonged into 
the night, and fires have always been a vehicle for testifying 
joy. When the worship had passed over into mere joy-fires, ignis 
jocnnditatis, feux de joie, Engl, bon-fires, these could, without 
any reference to the service of a deity, be employed on other 
occasions, especially the entry of a king or conqueror. Thus 
they made a torch-waggon follow the king, which was afterwards 
set on fire, like the plough and wheels at the feast of St. John 

1 Haus und kinderm. 2, 20. 3, 221. Deutsche sagen no. 513. A children's 
game has the rhyme : ' Dear good oven, I pray to thee. As thou hast a wife, send a 
husband to me !' In the comedy 'Life and death of honest Madam Slut (Schlam- 
pampe),' Leipz. 1696 and 1750, act 3, sc. 8: ' Come, let us go and kneel to the out u. 
maybe the gods -will hear our prayer.' In 1558 one who had been robbed, but had 
sworn Becrecy, told his story to the Dutch-tile oven at the inn. Eommell's Hess, 
gesch. 4, note p. 420. Joh.' MuhYr's Hist. Suit/.. 2, 92 (a.d. 1333). ' Nota est in 
eligiis Tibulli Januae personificatio, cui amantes dolores suos narrant, quaru orant, 
quam increpant ; erat enim daemoniaca quaedam vis januarum ex opinione veterum,' 
Dissen's Tib. 1, clxxix. Conf. Hartung's Eel. der Eom. 2, 218 seq. 


(RA. 265). ' Faculis et faustis acclaniationibus, ut prioribus 
regibus assueverant, obviam ei (non) procedebant/ Lamb, schafn. 
ad an. 1077. Of what we now call illumination, the lighting up 
of streets and avenues, there are probably older instances than 
those I am able to quote : l von kleinen kerzen nianec schoup 
geleit uf olboume loup/ of little tapers many a cluster ranged in 
olive bower, Parz. 82, 25. Detmar (ed. Grautoff 1, 301) on the 
Emp. Charles I Ws entry into Lubeck : ' des nachtes weren die 
luchten bernde ut alien husen, unde was so licht in der nacht als 
in dem dage/ The church also escorted with torchlight pro- 
cessions : ' cui (abbati) intranti per noctis tenebras adhibent faces 
et lampadas/ Chapeaville 2, 532 (12th cent.). ' Hirimannus dux 
susceptus est ab archiepiscopo manuque deducitur ad ecclesiam 
accensis luminaribus, cunctisque souantibus campanis/ Dietm. 
merseb. 2, 18. f Taceo coronas tarn luminoso fulgore a lumiuaribus 
pendentes/ Vita Joh. gorziens. (bef. 984) in Mabillon's Acta 
Ben., sec. 5, p. 395 (see Suppl.). 

3. Air. 
The notions ' air, wind, weather/ touch one another, and their 
names often do the same. 1 Like water, like fire, they are all 
regarded as a being that moves and lives : we saw how the words 
animus, spiritus, geld (pp. 439. 461) come to be used of genii, 
and the Slav, clukh is alike breath, breathing, and spirit. 
Wuotan himself we found to be the all-pervading (p. 133) ; like 
Vishnu, he is the fine gether that fills the universe. But lesser 
spirits belong to this element too: Gustr, Zephyr, B laser (p. 461), 
Blaster, Wind-and-weather (p. 548), proper names of dwarfs, 
elves, giants. In the Lithuanian legend the two giants Wandu 
(water) and Weyas (wind) act together (p. 579). To the OHG. 
wetar, OS. wedar, AS. iveder (tempestas) corresponds the Slav. 
veter, vietar (ventus, aer) : and to Goth, vinds, OHG. ivint, the 
Lat. ventus. The various names given to wind in the Alvismal 
(Seem. 50 a ) are easily explained by its properties of blowing, 
blustering and so forth : oepir (weeper) ejulans, the wailing, 
conf. OS. wop (whoop), OHG. wuof ejulatus ; gneggio&r (neigher) 
strepens, quasi hinniens ; dynfari cum sonitu iens. 

1 Our luft I include under the root liuban, no. 530, whose primary meaning 
is still obscure ; conf. kliuban kluft, skiuban skuft. 


Thus personification already peeps out in mere appellatives; 
in the mythic embodiments themselves it is displayed in the most 
various ways. 

Woodcuts and plates (in the Sachsenspiegel) usually represent 
the wiuds, half symbolically, as blowing faces, or heath, probably 
a fancy of very early date, and reminding us of the blowing John's- 
head that whirls Herodias about in the void expanse of heaven 
(p. 285). The winds of the four cardinal points are imagined as 
four dwarf 8 : 'undir hvert horn (each corner) settu ]>eir dverg', 
Sn. (p. 461) l ; but by the Greeks as giants and brethren : 
Zephyrus, Hesperus, Boreas, Not us (Hes. Theog. 371), aud 
Boreas's sons Zetes and Kala'is are also ivinged winds (Apollon. 
Argon. 1, 219). Aeolus (atoA,o? nimble, changeful, many-hued), 
at first a hero and king, was promoted to be governor and guider 
of wiuds (rafjiiv'i ave^iwv, p. 93). In Russia popular ti-adition 
makes the four winds sons of one mother? the O. Russ. lay of Igor 
addresses the wind as ' lord/ and the winds are called Stribogh's 
grandsons? his divine nature being indicated by the ' bogh' in 
his name. So in fairy-tales, and by Eastern poets, the wind is 
introduced talking and acting: 'the wind, the heavenly child!'* 

In the ON. genealogy, Forniotr, the divine progenitor of giants 
(p. 240), is made father of Kdri (stridens) ' who rules over the 
winds;* Kari begets Iokul (glacies), and Iokul /Sneer (nix), the 
king whose children are a son Thorri and three daughters Fonn, 
Drifa, Mioll, all personified names for particular phenomena of 
suow and ice (Sn. 358. Fornald. sog. 2, 3. 17). Kari however is 
brother to Hlor (p. 211) and Logi (p. 240), to water and fire, by 
which is expressed the close affinity between air and the other 
two elements. The old Scandinavian cry ' blus kdri ! ' is echoed 
in that of the Swedish sailors ' bias kajsa !' a goddess instead of 
the god (Afzelius 1, 30). Both wind and fire ' blow ' and ' emit 
spray ,' nay, fire is called the red wind : ' von ir zweier swerte gie 
derfiur-rote wint/ Nib. 2212, 4. In the same line of thought a 
higher divinity, Nioror, has the sovereignty given hiui alike over 

'And therefore 6str6ni, westroni, sundrSni, nordrdni are masc. nouns ; the 
forms would be dustroneis, etc. 

2 Rusa. volksmarehen, Leipz. 1831. p. 119. 

3 • Vfctre v&trilo gospodine,' Hanka's >A. pp. 12. 36. 

4 E.g. in Nalos, p. 1SU (Bopp'a 2 ed.). Kinderm. nos. 1~>. 88. 



water, wind and fire (p. 217) ; and Loptr (aereus) is another name 
for Loki (p. 246). A phrase in Csedm. 181, 13 seems worthy of 
notice : ' lyft-helme bebeaht/ galea aerea tectus (see Suppl.). 

When in our language we still call one kind of tempest (OHG. 
wiwint, Graff 1, 624), the windsbraut (wind's bride), and it was 
called the same in our older speech, OHG. ivintes brut, 0. v. 19, 
27. windis prut, Gl. Hrab. 975 b . Jun. 230. Diut. 2, 182. Gl. 
florent. 982 a -3 b -4 b ; MHG. windes brut (Gramm. 2, 606), Tit. 3733. 
swinder (swifter) danne windes brut, Ms. 2, 131 a . lief spilnde 
als ein w.b. durch daz gras, Fragm. 19 a . alsam in rore diu w. b., 
Reinfried 159 b . varn mit hurt als ein w. prut, Frauend. 92, 13 ; — 
it is only the proper names that seem to be lost. 1 The corrupt 
forms wintsprout, -praut (Suchenw. 41, 804), windbrauss (in later 
writers, as Matthesius), windsprauch (Schm*.- 4, 110), have arisen 
out of the endeavour to substitute some new meaning for the 
no longer intelligible mythic notion. They say it is a woman 
snatching up a napkin from the bleaching ground and falling 
down with it, Mone's Anz. 8, 278. So in the Netherlands the 
whirlwind is called barende frauw, Wolf nos. 518-520 (see Suppl.). 

This wind's-bride is a whirlwind, at which our mythology 
brings the highest gods into play. Even Wuotan's e furious host/ 
what is it but an explanation of the stormwind howling through 
the air ? The OHG. ziu, turbines, we have traced to Zio, pp. 203. 
285; and the storm-cloud was called maganwetar (p. 332 last 1.). 
But the whirlwind appeal's to be associated with Phol also (pp. 
229. 285), and with an opprobrious name for the devil (schweine- 
zagel, siiuzagel, sustert, sow's tail), to whom the raising of the 
whirl was ascribed (Superst. I, 522) 2 as well as to witches (ibid. 
554). It was quite natural therefore to look upon some female 
personages also as prime movers of the whirlwind, the gyrating 
dancing Herodias, and frmi Hilde, frau Holde (p. 285). In Kilian 
693 it is a fahrendes weib ; in Celtic legend it is stin*ed up by fays, 

1 Orithyia carried off by Boreas (Ov. Met. 6, 710)*could with perfect justice 
be named windesbrut by Albrecbt. 

2 Two Pol. tales in Woycicki 1, 81 and 89 : When the whirlwind (vikher) sweeps 
up the loose sand, it is the evil spirit dancing ; throw a sharp new knife into the 
middle of it, and you wound him. A magician plunged such a knife into his 
threshold, and condemned his man, with whom he was angry, for seven years to ride 
round the world on the swift stormwind. Then the whirlwind lifted the man, who 
was making haycocks in a meadow, and bore him away into the air. This knife- 
throwing is also known to Germ, superstition every where (I, 55-1). 

wind's bride. 633 

and the Irish name for it is sigh gaoite (O'Brien), sigJigaoithe 
(Croker III, xxi) ; in a whirlwind elvish sprites can steal (Stewart 
p. 122). It is a popular belief in Sweden, that the skogsrii 
(wood- wife) makes her presence known by a violent whirlwmd 
which shakes the trees even to breaking. The Slav, poled nice 
(supra, p. 478n.) is a female daemon, who flies up in the dust of 
the whirlwind (Jungmann sub v.). According to a legend of the 
Mark (Kuhn no. 167) the whirlwind was a noble damsel who 
loved the chase above everything, and made havock of the hus- 
bandman's crops, for which she is doomed to ride along with 
the storm to all eternity ; this again reminds us of Diana and 
the huntress Holda (see Suppl.). 

In addition to these widely spread fancies, there is a peculiar 
one about the origin of wind, which appears to extend through 
nearly all Europe. According to the Edda, Hrcesvelgr is the name 
of a giant, who in the shape of an eagle 1 sits at the end of heaven : 
from his wings cometh all wind upon men, Sasm. 35 b . Snorri 
defines it more minutely : He sits at the north side of heaven, 
and when he flaps his wings, the winds rise from under them (Sn. 
22.) And in the formula of the trygdamal (Gragas 2, 170), it 
is said : f sva viSa sem valr flygr varlangan dag, oc standi byrr 
undir bdda vosngi,' far as falcon flies a summerlong day, when 
stands fair wind under both his wings. Light clouds threatening 
storm are called in Iceland Jclo-sigi (Biurn spells klosegi), claw- 
sinking ; ace. to Gunnar Pauli, because the eagle causes storm by 
letting down one of his claws (Finn Magn. p. 452).- It is also 
an Indian belief that tempest comes from Garuda's wings, 
Somadeva 2, 102 : the motion of his flight stirs up the wind. 

Then again people in the Shetland isles are said to conjure the 
storm-wind in the shape of a great eagle. 3 Further we are told 
that Charles the Great had a brazen eagle fixed on the top of 
his palace at Achen (Aix), and there was some connexion 
between it and the wind; Richerus 3, 71 (Pertz 5, 622) relates 
the inroad of the Welsh (Gauls) in 978 : ' Aeneam aquilam, quae 
in vertice palatii a Karolo magno acsi volans fixa erat/ in vul- 

1 The giants often put on the arnar ham (erne's coat) : Thiazi in Sn. 80. 82, 
Suttungr in Sn. 86. 

2 Day also was imaged as a bird, who dug his claws into the clouds. 

3 Scott's Pirate, Edinb., 1822. 

4 It ought not to be overlooked here, that at the west door of OiSin's hall these 


tumum converterunt. Nam Germani earn in favonium (Up. 
Germ, fohn) converterant, subtiliter significantes Gallos suo 
equitatu quandoque posse devinci.' The meaning seems to be, 
that the French turned the eagle's head to the south-east, the 
Germans to the west, to signify that like the storm they could 
make a raid (ride, that is what equitatus comes to) upon the 
country toward which the bird's head was directed. Dietmar of 
Merseburg's account 3, 6 (Pertz 5, 761) is as follows : ' Post haec 
autem imperator ordinavit expeditionem suam adversus Lotharium 
regem Karelingorum, qui in Aquisgrani palatium et sedem regiam 
nostrum semper respicientem dominium valido exercitu praesump- 
sit invadere, sibique versa aquila designare. Haec stat in 
orientali parte domus, morisque f uit omnium hunc locum possi- 
dentium ad sua earn vertere regna. 3 This statement appears less . 
accurate than that of Richerus, for each would turn the eagle's 
head not toward his own kingdom, but the foreign or depen- 
dent one ; conf. Jalirb. d. Rheinlande v. vi. 73. But even in 
the 12th cent, the wind's connexion with the eagle was still 
known in Germany, for Veldek sings, MS. 1, 21 a : 'jarlanc ist 
reht daz der ar winke dem vil silczen winde,' all this year the 
eagle must beckon to (i.e. bring) a mild wind. How many 
fancies familiar to the Mid. Ages must be lost to us now, when 
of all the poets that mention air and wind and storm no end of 
times, only one happens to allude to this myth ! But not only 
do aquila and aquilo, 1 vultur and vultumus point to each other; 
ave[xos (wind) and aeros (eagle) are likewise from one root 
aco, a?///,t. 3 According to Horapollo 2, 15 a sparrowhawk with 
outspread wings represents the ivind. Eagle, falcon, vulture, 
sparrowhawk, are here convertible birds of prey. The Indian 
garuda, king of birds, is at the same time the wind. The O.T. 
also thinks of the winds as winged creatures, without specifying 
the bird, 2 Sam. 22, 11: f rode on the wings of the winds'; 
Ps. 18,11. 104,3: ' volavit super pennas ventorum/ which 

also hung a wolf, and over it an eagle (drupir orn yfir, Sasui. 41 b ), and that the 
victorious Saxons fixed an eagle over the city's gate, supra, p. 111. 

1 Festus : ' aquilo ventus a vehernentissinio volatu ad instar aquilae appel- 
lator ' ; conf. Hesychius, d/apos 6 ftoppas. 

2 Wackernagel on Ablaut (vowel- change) p. 30. Eustathius on the II. 87. 15 


Xotker translates ' iiberfloug die vettaclia dero windo ' ; and 
Martina 7 C has, in allusion to the biblical phrase, ' der uf der 
winde vedern saz.' The expression used by Herbort 17091, ' der 
wint liez ouch dare gan,' shews that the poet imagined it either 
flying or riding (see Suppl.). 

The Finns call the eagle Icokko (kotka) ; but a poem descriptive 
of the northstorm, begins : ' Came the eagle on from Turja, down 
from Lappmark sinks a bird/ and ends : ' Neath his wing a 
hundred men, thousands on his tail's tip, ten in every quill there 
be. 5 l And in a Mod. Greek folk-song the sparrowhawk (as. in 
Horapollo) calls upon the winds to hush : airb ra TpUopfya fiovva 
lepaKi eavpe \a\id ' Tracer,' aepe<?, ird^ere enrobe k aWrjv piav 
/3pa8id.~ The winds are under the bird's command, and obey 
him. In another song the mother sets three to watch her son 
while he sleeps, in the mountains the sun, in the plain the eagle 
[aero?), on the sea the brisk lord Boreas : the sun sets, the eagle 
goes to sleep, and Boreas goes home to his mother ; 3 from the 
whole context here we must understand by the eagle the sweet 
soft wind, and by Boreas the cool northwind. 

Hrcesvelgr (OHG. Hreosuolah ?) means swallower of corpses, 
flesh-eater, Sansk. kraviyada, and is used of birds of prey that 
feed on carrion, but may also be applied to winds and storms 
which purify the air : they destroy the effluvia from bodies that 
lie unburied. 

Is that the foundation of the fancy, that when a man hangs 
himself, a tempest springs up, and the roar of the wind pro- 
claims the suicide ? 4 Is it the greedy carrion-fowl that comes 
on in haste to seize the dead, his lawful prey, who swings un- 
buried on the tree ? Or does the air resent the self-murderer's 
polluting presence in it ? A New-year's storm is thought to 
announce pestilence (Sup. I, 330. 910), spreading an odour of 
death in anticipation. 

Tempest (like fire) the common people picture to themselves as 
a voracious hungry being (of course a giant, according to the root 

1 Finnish runes, Ups. 1810, pp. 58-60. 
- Fauriel 2, 236. Wh. Miiller 2, 100. 
' I'iiuriel 2, 432. Wh. Muller 2, 120. 

4 Sup. I, 343. 1013. Kirchhofer's Schweiz. spr. 327. CI. Brentano's Libussa 
432. Sartori's Beise in Kiirnten 2, 164. Leoprechting 102. 


idea of iotunn, p. 519), and they try to pacify him by pouring out 
flour in the air. 1 I take this to be an ancient superstition, and 
light is thrown upon it now by a Norwegian tale in Asbjornsen 
no. 7, of the northiuind carrying off a poor fellow's meal three 
times, but compensating him afterwards by costly presents. This 
northwind behaves exactly as a rough good-natured giant. (See 

The raising of the whirlwind was, as we have seen (p. 632), 
ascribed to divine, semi-divine and diabolic beings. In Norway 
they say of whirlwinds and foul weather, ' the giant stirs his pots/ 
Faye p. 7. 

In two weather- spells (Append., Exorcism v.) Mermeut and 
Fasolt are called upon as evil spirits and authors of storms. 
Fasolt is the well-known giant of our hero-legend, brother of 
Ecke, who was himself god of tides and waves (p. 239). The 
two brothers have kindred occupations, being rulers of the dread 
sea and of the weather. What we gather from the second spell 
about Fasolt seems to me of importance, and another conclu- 
sive proof of the identity of Ecke with Oegir : as Hler and 
Kari are brothers and giants, so are also Ecke and Fasolt; as 
Hler commands the sea and Kari the winds, so does Ecke rule 
the waters and Fasolt the storm. To the Norse poets the wind 
is ' Forniots sonr ; and ' Oegis bi-oSir/ 3 Now, as Hler was called 
by another nation Oegir, i.e. Uogi, Ecke, so Kari may have been 
called Fasolt. Fasolt must be an old word, if only because it is 
hard to explain ; does it come under the OHG. fasa, fason (Graff 
3 705) ? In ON., ' fas ' is superbia, arrogantia ; the name seems 
to express the overbearing nature of a giant. Mermeut, which 
occurs nowhere else, perhaps means the sea-mutterer ? Schm. 2, 
552. 653 has maudern, mutern, murmurare. — These demi-gods 
and giants stand related to Donar the supreme director of clouds 
and weather, as iEolus or Boreas to Zeus. 

And from Zeus it was that the favourable wished-for wind 
proceeded: A ibs ovpos, Od. 5, 176. Wuotan (the all-pervading, 

1 Sup. I, 282. Praetorius's Weltbesehr. 1, 429 : At Bamberg, when a violent 
wind was raging, an old woman snatched up her mealsack, and emptied it out of 
window into the air, with the words : ' Dear wind, don't be so wild ; take that home 
to your child ! ' She meant to appease the hunger of the wind, as of a greedy 
lion or fierce wolf. 

2 'Forniots sefar ' = sea and wind, Stem. 90 b . 


p. 630) mates the wish-wind, oska-byrr, p. 144. What notion 
lies at the bottom of Wolfram's making Juno give the ' segels 
luft/ sail-wind (Parz. 753, 7) ? Again in Parz. 750, 7 and 766, 
4 : ' Juno fuocte (fitted) daz weter,' and ' segelweter.' The fruit- 
ful breeze that whispers in the corn was due to Fro and his boar, 
pp. 213-4. An ON. name of OSinn was VicTrir, the weatherer: 
( at ]>eir sog'Su han veftrum ra<Sa/ he governs weathers (Fornm. 
sog. 10, 171). Such a god was Pogoda to the Slavs, and the Pol. 
pogoda, Boh. pohoda, still signifies good growing or ripening 
weather [Russ. god = time, year; pogoda = weather, good or bad]. 
Typhon in Egyptian legend meant the south wind, Hes. Theog. 
301. 862. 

The Lettons believed in a god of winds and storms Okkupeernis, 
and thought that from his forehead they came down the sky to 
the earth. 1 

In an ON. saga (Fornald. sog. 3, 122) appears giant Grimnir, 
whose father and brother are named Griinolfr and Grimarr, a sort 
of Polyphemus, who can excite storm or good wind : here again 
it is OSinn we must think of (p. 144). Two semi-divine beings, 
honoured with temples of their own and bloody sacrifices, were 
the giant's daughters Thorger&r and Irpa (p. 98). In the Skald- 
skaparmal 154 ThorgerSr is called Eolgabruffr or king Holgi's 
daughter, elsewhere horgabrucfr and horgatroll (Fornald. sog. 2, 
131), sponsa divum, immanissima gigas, which reminds us of our 
wind's-bride. Both the sisters sent foul weather, storm and hail, 
when implored to do so, Fornm. sog. 11, 134-7. And ON. 
legend mentions other dames besides, who make foul weather and 
fog, as HerSi and Hamglom, Fornald. sog. 2, 72, Ingibiorg, ibid. 
3, 442 (see Suppl.). 3 

What was at first imputed to gods, demigods and giants, the 
sending of wind, storm and hail (vis daemonum concitans pro- 
cellas, Beda's Hist. eccl. 1, 17), was in later times attributed to 
human sorcerers. 

First we find the Lex Visigoth, vi. 2, 3 provides against the 
' malefici et immissores tempestatum, qui quibusdam incanta- 
tionibus grandiuem in vineas messesque mittere perhibentur.' 
Then Charles the Great in his Capit. of 789 cap. 64 (Pertz 3,61) : 

1 Okka, or auka, storm; peere forehead. Stender's Gramra. 26(5. 
- Conf. p. 333, 463 hulizfiialmr. 


' ut nee cauculatores et incantatores, nee tempestarii vel obliga- 
tors rton fiant, et ubicunque sunt, emendentur vel damnentur.' 
Soon after that king's death, about the beginning of Lewis the 
Pious's reign, bp. Agobard (d. 840) wrote ' Contra insulsam vulgi 
opinionem de grandine et tonitruis/ From this treatise, following 
Baluz's edit, of the works of Agobard, I take a few passages. 

1, 145 : In his regionibus pene omnes homines, nobiles et 
ignobiles, urbani et rustici, senes et juvenes, putant grandines et 
tonitrua hominum libitu posse fieri. Dicunt enim, mox ut audie- 
rint tonitrua et viderint fulgura : ' aura levatitia est/ Inter- 
rogati vero, quid sit aura levatitia ? alii cum verecundia, parum 
remordente conscientia, alii autem confidenter, ut imperitorum 
moris esse solet, confirmant incantationibus hominum qui dicun- 
tur tempestarii, esse levatam, et ideo dici levatitiam auram. 

1, 146 : Plerosque autem vidimus et audivimus tanta dementia 
obrutos, tanta stultitia alienatos, ut credant et dicant, quandam 
esse regionem quae dicatur Magonia, ex qua naves veniant in 
nubibus, in quibus fruges quae grandinibus decidunt et tempesta- 
tibus pereunt, vehantur in eandem regionem, ipsis videlicet nautis 
aereis dantibus pretia tempestarii s, et accipientibus frumenta vel 
ceteras fruges. Ex his item tarn profunda stultitia excoecatis, ut 
hoc posse fieri credant, vidimus plures in quodam conventu homi- 
num exhibere vinctos quatuor homines, tres viros et unam ferni- 
nam, quasi qui de ipsis navibus ceciderint : quos scilicet, per 
aliquot dies in vinculis detentos, tandem collecto conventu homi- 
num exhibuerunt,ut dixi, in nostra praesentia, tanquam lapidandos. 
Sed tamen vincente veritate post multam ratiocinationem, ipsi qui 
eos exhibuerant secundum propheticum illud confusi sunt, sicut 
confunditur fur quando deprehenditur. 

1, 153 : Nam et hoc quidam dicunt, nosse se tales tempestarios, 
qui dispersam grandinem et late per regionem decidentem faciant 
unum in locum fluminis aut siivae infructuosae, aut super unam., 
ut ajunt, cupam, sub qua ipse lateat, defluere. Frequenter certe 
audivimus a multis dici quod talia nossent in certis locis facta, sed 
necdum audivimus, ut aliquis se haec vidisse testaretur. 

1, 158 : Qui, mox ut audiunt tonitrua vel cum levijiatu venti, 
dicunt ' levatitia aura est/ et maledicunt dicentes : ' maledicta 
lingua ilia et arefiat et jam praecisa esse debebat, quae hos facit ! ' 

1, 159 : Nostris quoque temporibus videmus aliquando, collectis 



messibus et vindemiis, propter siccitatem agricolas seminare non 
posse. Quare non obtinetis apud tempestarios vestros, ut mittant 
auras levatitias, quibus terra inrigetur, et postea seminare possitis? 

1, 161: Isti autem, contra quos sermo est, ostendunt nobis 
homunculos, a sanctitate, justitia et sapientia alienos, a fide et 
veritate nudos, odibiles etiam proximis, a quibus dicunt vehemen- 
tissimos imbres, sonantia aquae tonitrua et levatitias auras posse 

1, 102 : In tantum malum istud jam adolevit, ut in plerisque 
locis sint homines iniserrimi, qui dicant, se non equidem nosse 
immittere tempestates, sed nosse tamen defendere a tempestate 
habitatores loci. His habent statutum, quantum de frugibus suis 
donent, et appellant hoc canonicum. Many are backward in tithes 
and alms, canonicum autem, quem dicunt, suis defensonbus (a 
quibus se defendi credunt a tempestate) nullo praedicante, nullo 
admonente vel exhortante, sponte persolvunt, diabolo iuliciente. 
Denique in talibus ex parte magnam spem habent vitae suae, 
quasi per illos vivant (see Suppl.). 

It was natural for driving hail-clouds to be likened to a ship 
sailing across the sky ; we know our gods were provided with 
cars and ships, and we saw at p. 332 that the very Edda bestows 
on a cloud the name of vindflot. But when the tempest-men 
by their spells call the air-ship to them or draw it on, they are 
servants and assistants rather than originators of the storm. 
The real lord of the weather takes the corn lodged by the hail 
into the ship with him, and remunerates the conjurors, who 
might be called his priests. The Christian people said : ' these 
conjurors sell the grain to the aeronaut, and he carries it away.' 
But what mythic country can Magonia mean ? It is not known 
whether Agobard was born in Germany or Gaul, though his name 
is enough to shew his Frankish or Burgundian extraction; just 
as little can we tell whether he composed the treatise at Lyons, 
or previously at some other place. The name Magonia itself 
seems to take us to some region where Latin was spoken, if we 
may rely on its referring to magus and a magic land. 

In later times I find no mention of this cloud-skip, except in 
H. Sachs, who in his schwank of the Lappenhiiuser ii. 4, 89 c re- 
lates how they made a ship of feathers and straw, and carried it 
up the hill, with the view of launching out in it when the mist 


should fall, Fischer in Garg. 96 a introduces quite unconnectedly 
the nebelschiffs segel of Philoxenus (the guestfriend or Zeus ?) in 
a passage that has nothing in Rabelais answering to it. 

In the latter part of the Mid. Ages there went a story of the 
wind-selling inhabitants of Vinland, which I give from a work 
composed towards 1360 by Glanvil or Bartholomaeus Anglicus, 
'Deproprietatibus rerum' 15, 172 : 'Gens (Vinlandiae) estbarbara, 
agrestis et saeva, magicis artibus occupata. Unde et naviganti- 
bus per eorum litora, vel apud eos propter venti defectum moram 
contrahentibus, ventum venalem offerunt atque vendunt. Globum 
enim de filo faciunt, et diversos nodos in eo connectentes, usque ad 
trcs nodos vel plures de globo extrahi praecipiunt, secundum quod 
voluerint ventum habere fortiorem. 1 Quibus propter eorum in- 
credulitatem illudentes, daemones aerem concitant et ventum 
inajorem vel minorem excitant, secundum quod plures nodos de 
filo extrahunt vel pauciores, et quandoque in tantura commovent 
ventum, quod miseri talibus fidem adhibentes justo judicio sub- 
merguntur/ — This selling of wind in Wilandia (as he calls it) is 
likewise mentioned in Seb. Frank's Weltbuch 60% without any 
description of the method. By Vinland is to be understood a 
part of the Greenland coast which had been early visited by 
Norwegians and Icelanders, and in ON. tales is by turns called 
Vinland and Vindland; 2 the latter form might have suggested 
the whole story of raising the wind, on which the ON. writings 
as well as Adam of Bremen are silent. Others however tell 
the same story of the Finns (01. Magnus 3, 15) : it seems to me 
a tradition spread all over the North 3 (see Suppl.). 

The Norse legends name wind produced by magic gominga-ve&r. 
Ogautan (like Aeolus) had a ve&r-belgr (-bellows, or leathern 
bag) ; when he shook it, storm and wind broke out (Fornald. 
sog. 2, 412); the same with Mondull (3, 338). The Swedish 

1 This globus resembles theLat. turbo, a top or teetotum used in magic : 'citum 
retro solve, solve turbinem,' Hor. Epod. 17, 7. 

2 Fornm. sog. 2, 246. Isl. sog. 1, 9. 100. 151. Couf. Torfaeus's Hist. Vmlaudiae 
antiquae, Ham. 1705. 

s The Esthonians believed that wind could be generated and altered. In the 
direction whence you wish it to blow, hang up a snake or set an axe upright, and 
whistle to make it come. A clergyman happened to see some peasants making a 
great fuss round three stones, eating, drinking and dancing to the sound of rustic 
instruments. Questioned as to the object of the feast, they replied that by means 
of those stones they could produce wet weather or dry ; dry, if they set them 
upright, wet if they laid them along (Ueber die Ehsten, p. 48) ; supra pp. 593-7. 

STORM. 641 

kino- Eirikr, son of Ragnar Lodbrok, bore the surname of 
vecTi-hattr (ventosi pilei) : whichever way he turned his hat, from 
there the wished for wind would blow (Saxo Gram. 175. 01. 
Magnus 3, 13. Gejer's Hafder 582). One of our nursery-tales 
even, no. 71, tells of a man who can direct the weather by 
setting his hat straight or askew. There is an expression in 
the Edda, vindhidlmr (Seem. 168 b ), which reminds me of the 
OHG. name Windhelm, Trad. fuld. 2, 167 (see Suppl.). 

That is a beautiful fancy in the Edda, of seven-and-twenty 
valkyrs riding through the air, and when their horses shake 
themselves, the dew dropping out of their manes on the deep 
valleys, and hail on the lofty trees : a sign of a fruitful year, Ssem. 
145. So morning-dew falls on the earth each day from the foam- 
ing bit of the steed Hrimfaxi (dew-mane), Sn. 11. The ON. 
meldropi, AS. meledeaw, OHG. militou (Gl. Jun. 224), MHG. 
miltou (Ms. 2, 124 a ), all take us back to mel (lupatum equi) ; 
conf. note on Elene p. 164, where mel is derived from midl, 
mittul, and supra p. 421. Antiquity referred all the phenomena 
of nature to higher powers. The people in Bavaria call a dark 
rain-cloud ' anel mit der laugen/ granny with her ley (Schm. 1, 
63) ; in Bohemia light clouds are babhy, grannies. When moun- 
tain mist is rising, the Esthonians say ' the Old one is putting his 
fire out ' ; our people ascribe it to animals at least : ' the hare is 
boiling [his supper], the fox is bathing, brewing/ Reinh. ccxcvi. 
When shapes keep rising in the mists on the seashore, the 
Italians call it fata morgana, p. 412 (see Suppl.). 

The Scythians explained drifting snow as flying feathers (Herod. 
4, 31), and our people see in the flakes the feathers out of the 
goddess's bed, or goose (p. 268). Those snow-women Form, 
Drifa, Mioll (p. 631) appear also to touch one side of Holda. The 
Lettish riddles, ' putns skreen, spahrni pill/ and ' putns skreen, 
spalwas putt n mean a rain-cloud and a snow-cloud. In Switzer- 
land vulgar opinion looks upon avalanches as ravening beasts, on 
whom (as on fire) you can put a check (see Suppl.). 

4. Earth. 
Of the goddess, and her various names, we have spoken already : 
Nerthus p. 251, Erda p. 250, Fairguni p. 172. 256, Erce p. 253, 

1 Bird flies, wings drip. Bird flies, feathers drop. Steuder's Gramru. 260. 


Hludana p. 256, and others ; in which the ideas of the ancients 
about Terra, Gaia, Ops, Rhea, Cybele, Ceres repeat themselves. 
On p. 303 the Indian Prithivi was compared with Freyja, and the 
closest kinship exists between Freyr and NiorSr (the male Ner- 
thus) . But also the bare element itself, the molte (mould, pulvis) 
p. 251, was accounted holy : it is the ^Ooov TroXvfioreipa, out of 
its teeming lap rise fruits and trees, into it the dead are laid, and 
decay or fire restores them to dust and ashes. 1 To die was c to 
sink to the earth/ ' til iarSar (til moldar) hniga/ ' to kiss the 
earth/ still more prettily in ON. '\ mo&urcett falla ' (Nialss. cap. 
45), in maternum genus cadere, to fall back into the womb of 
terra mater} They also said ' iar&ar megin kiosa ' (vim telluris 
eligere, i.e. invocare), Saem. 27 b ; and as the Greeks made the 
falling giant acquire new strength the moment he touched the 
ground, the Edda has e aukinn iarcfar megni' (auctus vi telluris), 
118 b , 119 a . 3 One who had been long away from home kissed the 
earth on treading it once more ; in O.Fr. poems ' baiser la terre ' 
is a sign of humility, Berte pp. 35. 43. 58. Renart 14835. As 
the pure stream rejects the malefactor, so neither will the earth 
endure him: 'unssolt diu erde nicht tragen/ Troj. 491 [conf. f art 
cursed from the earth/ Gen. 4. 10-12]. Secrets were entrusted 
to the earth, as well as to lire and oven, p. 629 (see Suppl.). 

It is more especially earth grown over with grass, the green- 
sward, that has a sacred power ; such grass the Sanskrit calls 
hhusa, and in particular durva, to which correspond the AS. turf, 
ON. torf, OHG. zurba : ' holy earth and haulms of durva/ Sak- 
untala (Hirzelpp. 51. 127). I have also accounted for the famous 
chrene crud of the Salic law by our ' reines kraut/ clean herb ; 
and explained f chreneschruda (dat.) jactare ' by the Roman 

1 Irstantent (they rise again) fon thenio Mien legare, uz fori theru asgu, fon 
theru falawisgu, fon themo irdisgen herde, 0. v. 20, 25-8. 

2 Ancient tombs have been discovered, in which the bodies neither lie nor sit, 
but crouch with the head, arms and legs pressed together, in receptacles nearly 
square. M. Fred. Troyon of French Switz., who has carefully explored and ob- 
served many old graves, expressed to me his opinion, that by this singular treat- 
ment of dead bodies it was prob. intended to replace man in the same posture that 
he maintained in the womb before birth. Thus the return into mother earth would 
be at the same time an intimation of the coming new birth and resurrection of the 

3 The Servians, by way of protesting, say ' tako mit zemlie ! ' so (help) me 
earth. A Gaelic saw (Armstrong sub v. coibhi, priest, supra p. 92 note) declares : 
1 ged is fagus clach do 'n lar, is faigse na sin cobbair choibbi,' near as a stone is to 
the ground, the coibhi's help is nearer still, which seems to imply the earth's prompt 
assistance as well as the priest's. 

EARTH. 643 

' puram herbam, tollere/ as the H-el. 73, 7 has hrencurni, an OHG. 
gloss reincumes =fruinenti, MHG. 'daz reine gras* Iw. 6446, and 
grass and ' der melm/ dust, are coupled together, Wh. 24, 28. 
The purport of the law is, that earth or dust must be taken up 
from the four corners of the field, and thrown with the hand over 
the nearest kinsman. It was a solemn legal ceremony of heathen 
times, which the christian Capitulars abolished. Against my 
interpretation, however, Leo has now set up a Celtic one (cruin- 
neach collectus, criadh terra), 1 and I cannot deny the weight 
of his arguments, though the German etymology evidently 
has a stronger claim to a term incorporated in the text itself 
than in the case of glosses [because the Latin text must be 
based on a Frankish original]. The mythic use made of the 
earth remains the same, whichever way we take the words. 

The ON. language of law offers another and no less significant 
name : the piece of turf [under which an oath was taken] is 
called iar&men, iarcfar men ; now f men ' is literally monile, OHG. 
mani, meni, AS. mene, as we saw in the case of Freyja's neck- 
lace ' Brisinga men/ But ' iarSar men ' must once have been 
Iardar men, Erda's necklace, the greensward beiug very poetically 
taken for the goddess's jewelry. The solemn ' ganga undir 
Iarcfar men' (BA. 118-9) acquires its true meaning by this. In 
other nations too, as Hungarians (RA. 120), and Slavs (Bohme's 
Beitr. 5, 141), the administration of oaths took place by the per- 
son who swore placing earth or turf on his head (see Suppl.). 

The custom of conquered nations presenting earth and water 
in token of submission reaches back to remote antiquity : when 
the Persians declared war, they sent heralds to demand the two 
elements of those whose country they meant to invade, 2 which 
again reminds us of the Roman 'pura.' Our landsknechts as 
late as the 16th century, on going into battle, threw a clod of 
earth (like him that threw chrenechruda) in token of utter re- 
nunciation of life. 3 Among the Greeks too, grasping the sod 

1 Zeitscbr. f. d. alterth. 2, 163 seq. Malb. gl. 2, 149. 150. 

2 Brissonius De regno Pers. 3, GO— 71. Herod. 4, 127. 5, 18. Curtiusiii. 10, 
108. Aristotle Rhet. ii. 22, 37. Also Judith 2, 7 :. iroi^a^iv yrjv /cat vdwp (Cod. 
alex. ed. Augusti). 

3 Barthold's Frundsberg p. 58-9. In the Mid. Ages, when a nun was co 

I, her kinsmen, as a sign that she renounced all earthly possessions, threw 
eartlt. over the maiden's arm; conf. Svenska visor 1, 170 : 
det voro sa manga grefvar bald, 


signified taking possession of land, especially in the case of 
emigrants. As Euphamos sits on the prow of the Argo, Triton 
appears in human form and presents him with a clod of earth as a 
gift of hospitality. Euphamos takes the symbolic earth (ftwXatca 
Bai/xovlav), and gives it to his men to keep, but they drop it 
in the sea, and it melts away. Had it been preserved and 
deposited at Tainaros, the descendants of Euphamos would have 
won the promised land (Cyrene) in the fourth generation. As 
it was, they only got it in the 17th (see Suppl.). 1 

In an AS. spell which is elsewhere given, four pieces of turf 
are cut out, oil, honey, yeast and the milk of all cattle are dropt 
on them, and thereto is added some of every kind of tree that 
grows on the land, except hard trees, 2 and of every herb except 
burs ; and then at length the charm is repeated over it. With 
their seedcorn people mix earth from three sorts of fields (Superst. 
I, 477) ; on the coffin, when lowered, three clods are dropt (699) ; 
by cutting out the sod on which footprints [of a thief or enemy] 
are left, you can work magic (524. 556; and see Suppl.). 

Of holy mountains and hills there were plenty ; yet there seems 
to have been no elemental worship of them : they were honoured 
for the sake of the deity enthroned upon them, witness the 
Wodan's and Thunar's hills. When Agathias, without any such 
connexion, speaks of \6(f)oi and cfrdpayyes (hills and gullies) as 
objects of worship (p. 100) ; possibly his knowledge of the facts 
was imperfect, and there was a fire or water worship connected 
with the hill. It is among the Goths, to whom fair 'guni meant 
mountain (p. 172), that one would first look for a pure mountain- 
worship, if the kinship I have supposed between that word and 
the god's name be a matter of fact. Dietmar of Merseburg 
(Pertz 5, 855) gives an instance of mountain-worship among the 
Slavs: ' Posita autem est haec (ci vitas, viz. Nemtsi, Nimptch) 
in pago silensi, vocabulo hoc a quodam monte, nimis excelso et 
grandi, olim sibi indito : et hie ob qualitatem suam et quantitatem, 
cum execranda gentilitas ibi veneraretur, ab incolis omnibus nimis 

som hade deraf stor harm (great sorrow), 

der de nu kastade den svarta mull (black mould) 

allt ofver skon Valborg's arm. 

1 Pindar's Pyth. 4, 21-44. 0. M tiller's Orchom. 352, and proleg. 142 seq. ; 
his Dorier 1, 85. 2, 535. 

2 ' Only of soft wood, not hard,' EA. 506. 


honor abatur.' The commentators say it is the Zobtenberg in 
Silesia (see Suppl.). 

Here and there single stones and rocks, or several in a group, 
sometimes arranged in circles, were held in veneration (Append. 
' vota ad lapides,' especially ' lapides in ruinosis et silvestribus 
locis venerari;' AS. stdaweoriTang, ' bringan to stdne,' Thorpe pp. 
380. 396). This worship of stones is a distinguishing character- 
istic of Celtic religion, 1 less of Teutonic, though amongst our- 
selves also we meet with the superstition of slipping through 
hollow stones as well as hollow trees, Chap. XXXVI. Cavities 
not made artificially by human hand were held sacred. In Eng- 
land they hang such holy-stones or holed-stones at the horses' 
heads in a stable, or on the bed-tester and the house-door against 
witchcraft. Some are believed to have been hollowed by the 
sting of an adder (adderstones) . In Germany, holy stones were 
either mahlsteine of tribunals or sacrificial stones : oaths were 
taken ' at ursvolum unnar steini,' ' at enom hvita helga steini/ 
Seem. 165 a . 237 b . heilog foil 189 b . Helgafell, Landn. 2, 12 • conf. 
espec. Eyrbygg. saga c. 4. Four holy stones are sunk to cleanse 
a profaned sea (supra p. 87 note). A great number of stones 
which the giant or devil has dropt, on which he has left the print 
of his hand or foot, are pointed out by popular legend, without 
any holy meaning being thereby imparted to them (see Suppl.). 

As giants and men get petrified (p. 551), and still retain, so 
to speak, an after-sense of their former state, so to rocks and 
stones compassion is attributed, and interest in men's condition. 
Snorri 68 remarks, that stones begin to sweat when brought out 
of the frost into warmth, and so he explains how rocks and stones 
wept for Baldr. It is still common to say of bitter anguish : ' a 
stone by the wayside would feel pity/ ' it would move a heart 
of stone.' 2 Notice the MH.Gr. phrase : f to squeeze a stone with 

1 Conf. Armstrong sub v. earn and clachbrath ; O'Brien sub v. earn ; H. 
Schieiber's Feen, p. 17 on tbe menbir and pierres fites, p. 21 on the pierres 
branlantes. Of spindle-stones I have spoken, p. 419. 

2 This mode of expression is doubtless very old ; here are specimens from 
MHG. : ez erbarmet einem steine, Hart. erst, biiehl. 1752. wser sin herze steinen, 
swer (whoso) si weinen sa3he, ze weinen im geschame, Herb. 68^ ; ir klage mohte 
erbarmen einen stein 89 b . erbarmon ein stelnhertez herze, Flore 1498. ir j&raer 
daz raoht einen vels erbarmen, Lohengr. p. 16. ez moht ein stein beweinet ban 
dise barmunge, Dietr. 48 a . Mark, tbe stones did not weep of themselves, but were 
moved to sympathy by the weeping and wailing of tbe hapless men, which as it 


straps, till its veins drop blood/ MsH. 2, 235 b , suggested no 
doubt by the veins which run through some stones (see Suppl.). 

In closing this chapter, I will group together the higher gods 
who more immediately govern the four elements. Water, springs, 
rain and sea are under Wuotan (Nichus), Donar, Uogi, Holda. 
Fire, lightning under Donar, Loki. Air, wind under Wuotan, 
Fi'6. Earth under Nerthus and many others, mentioned on 
p. 641-2. 

were penetrated their ears. So in Holberg (Ellefte juni 4, 2) : horte jeg en sukken 
og hylen, som en steen maatte grade ved. And Ovid (Met. 9, 303) : rnoturaque 
duras Verba queror silices. Luke 19, 40 : oi \ldot. KeKpa^ovrai [Habak. 2, 11 : the 
stones shall cry out of the wall] . 


As all nature was thought of by the heathen mind as living ; l 
as language and the understanding of human speech was allowed 
to beasts, and sensation to plants (see Suppl.) ; and as every kind 
of transition and exchange of forms was supposed to take place 
amongst all creatures : it follows at once, that to some a higher 
worth may have been assigned, and this heightened even up to 
divine veneration. Gods and men transformed themselves into 
trees, plants or beasts, spirits and elements assumed animal 
forms ; why should the worship they had hitherto enjoyed be 
withheld from the altered type of their manifestation ? Brought 
under this point of view, there is nothing to startle us in the 
veneration of trees or animals. It has become a gross thing 
only when to the consciousness of men the higher being has 
vanished from behind the form he assumed, and the form alone 
has then to stand for him. 

We must however distinguish from divinely honoured plants 
and animals those that were esteemed high and holy because 
they stood in close relationship to gods or spirits. Of this kind 
are beasts and vegetables used for sacrifice, trees under which 

1 The way it is expressed in the Eddie myth of Baldr is more to the point than 
anything else : To ward off every danger that might threaten that beloved god, 
Frigg exacted oaths from water, fire, earth, stones, plants, beasts, birds and worms, 
nay from plagues personified, that they would not barm him ; one single shrub sbe 
let off from the oath, because he was too young, Sn. 64. Afterwards all creatures 
weep the dead Baldr, men, animals, plants and stones, Sn. 68. The OS. poet of the 
Heliand calls dumb nature the unquethandi, and says 168, 32 : ' that thar Wal- 
dandes dod (the Lord's death) anquethandes so filo antkennian scolda, that is 
endagon ertha bivoda, hrisidun thia hohun bergos, harda st&nos clubun, felisos after 
them felde.' It is true these phenomena are from the Bible (Matth. 27, 51-2), yet 
possibly a heathen picture hovered in the author's mind (as we saw on pp. 1 18. 
307), in thia case the mourning for Baldr, so like that for the Saviour. Herbort 
makes all things bewail Hector : if (says he, 68*) stones, metals, chalk and sand 
had wit and sense, they would have sorrowed too. As deeply rooted in man's 
nature is the impulse, when unfortunate, to bewail his woes to the rocks and trees 
and woods ; this is beautifully expressed in the song Ms. 1, 3 b , and all the objects 
there appealed to, offer their help. 

VOL. II. 617 P 


higher beings dwell, animals that wait upon them. The two 
■classes can hardly be separated, for incorrect or incomplete 
accounts will not allow us to determine which is meant. 

1. Trees. 

The high estimation in which Woods and Trees were held by 
the heathen Germans has already been shown in Chap. IV. To 
certain deities, perhaps to all, there were groves dedicated, and 
probably particular trees in the grove as well. Such a grove 
was not to be trodden by profane feet, such a tree was not to be 
stript of its boughs or foliage, and on no account to be hewn 
down. 1 Trees are also consecrated to individual daemons, elves, 
wood and home sprites, p. 509. 

Minute descriptions, had any such come down to us, would tell 
us many things worth knowing about the enclosure and main- 
tenance of holy woods, about the feasts and sacrifices held in 
them. In the Indiculus paganiarum we read ( de sacris sil varum, 
quae nimidas vocant.' This German word seems to me uncor- 
rupted, but none the easier to understand : it is a plur. masc. 
from the sing, nimid/ but to hit the exact sense of the word, we 
should have to know all the meanings that the simple verb 
neman was once susceptible of. If the German nimu be, as it 
has every appearance of being, the same as vefxw, then nimid 
also may answer to Gr. vc/ao?, Lat. nemus, a woodland pasture, 
a grove, a sacrum silvae (p. G9). 3 Documents of 1086 and 1150 

1 Sacrum nemus, nemus castum in Tacitus. Ovid, Amor. iii. 1, 1 : 

Stat vetus et multos incaedua silva per annos, 

credibile est illi numen inesse loco : 
ions sacer in medio, speluncaque pumice pendens, 

et latere ex omni dulce queruntur aves. 

Lucan, Phars. 3, 399 : Lucus trat longo nunquam violatus ab aevo. So the Sem- 
nonian wood, the nemus of Nerthus, the Slav lucus Zutibure, the Prussian grove 
Eomowe. Among the Esthonians it is held infamous to pluck even a single leaf 
in the sacred grove : far as its shade extends (ut umbra pertingit, EA. 57. 105), they 
will not take so much as a strawberry ; some people secretly bury their dead there 
(Petri Ehstland 2, 120). They call such woods hio, and the I. of Dago is in 
Esth. Hiomah, because there is a consecrated wood near the farmhouse of HiohoJ 
(Thorn. Hiarn.). 

2 Like helid (heros), gimeinid (communio), frumid, pi. frumidas (AS. frym'Sas, 
primitiae), barid (clamor, inferred from Tacitus's baritus). 

3 Can nimid have been a heathen term for sacrifice ? Abnemen in the 13th cent, 
mennt mactare, to slaughter (used of cattle), Berthold p. 46, as we still say abthun, 
abschneiden, Ulph. ufsneipan ; Schmid's Schwab, wtb. 405 abnehmen to kill poultry. 
This meaning can hardly lie in the prefix, it must be a part of the word itself : 

TREES. 649 

name a place Nimodon, Nimeden (Moser's Osnabr. gesch., urk. 3 k 
56. 8, 57. 84) ; the resemblance may lead to something farther 
(see Suppl.). 

There can be no doubt that for some time after the conversion 
the people continued to light candles and offer small sacrifices 
under particular holy trees, as even to this day they hang wreaths 
upon them, and lead the ring-dance under them (p. 58). In the 
church-prohibitions it is variously called : f vota ad arbores facere 
aut ibi candelam seu quodlibet munus deferre ; arborem colere ; 
votum ad arborem persolvere ; arbores daemonibus consecntfas 
colere, et in tanta veneratione habere, ut vulgus nee ramv/m nee 
surculum audeat amputare.' It is the AS. treow-tveor&iuir/ (cultus 
arborum), the ON. biota lundinn (grove), Landn. 3, 17. The 
Acta Bened. sec. 2 p. 841 informs us: ' Adest quoque ibi (at 
Lutosas, now Leuze) non ignoti miracnli fag us (beech), subter 
quam luminaria saepe cum accensa absque hominum accessu 
videmus, divini aliquid fore suspicamur.' So the church turned 
the superstition to account for her own miracles : a convent was 
founded on the site of the tree. About Esthonians of the present 
day we are told in Rosenpliinter's Beitr. 9, 12, that only a few 
years ago, in the parish of Harjel, on St. George's, St. John's 
and St. Michael's night, they used to sacrifice under certain trees, 
i.e. to kill, a black fowl. 1 Of the Thunder-god's holy oak an 
account has been given, pp. 72-3-4. 171. 184; and in Grarnm. 
2, 997 the OHG. scaldeih (ilex) is compared with the AS. names 
of plants scaldhyfel, scaldbyfel and the scaldo quoted above, p. 94. 
All this is as yet uncertain, and needs further elucidation. 

Among the Langobards we find a worship of the so-called 
blood-tree or holy tree (p. 109). The Vita S. Barbati in the Acta 
sanctor. under Febr. 19, p. 139. The saint (b. cir. 602, d. cir. 
683) lived at Benevento, under kings Grimoald and Romuald ; 

niman, ncman would therefore be to cut, kill, divide, and nimidas the victims slain 
in the holy grove, under trees? Couf. what is said in the text of the Langobardic 
tree of sacrifice. Celtic etymologies seem rather out of place for this plainly Saxon 
Indiculus. Adelung already in Mithrid. 2, 65. 77 bad brought into the field Nemetes 
and nemet (templum) ; Ir. naomh is sanctus, neainh (gen. nimhe) coelum, niem- 
headh land consecrated, belonging to the church. 

1 The superstition of the Lausitz Wends holds that there are woods which 
yearly demand n human victim (like the rivers, p. 494) ; some person must lose his 
life in them : ' hohla dyrbi kojzde ljeto jeueho czloweka nijecz,' Lausitz mon. schr. 
1797, p. 748. 


the Lombard nation was baptized, but still clung to superstitious 
practices : ' Quin etiam non longe a Beneventi moenibus devotis- 
sime sacrilegam colebant arborem, in qua suspenso corio cuncti qui 
aderant terga vertentes arbori celerius equitabant, calcaribus 
cruentantes equos, ut unus alteram posset praeire, atque in eodem 
cursu retroversis manibus in corium jaculabantur. Sicque parti- 
culam modicam ex eo comedendam superstitiose accipiebant. Et 
quia stulta illic persolvebant vota, ab actione ilia nomen loco illi, 
sicut hactenus dicitur, votum imposuerunt.' In vain Barbatus 
preaches against it : ' illi ferina coecati dementia nil aliud nisi 
sessorum meditantes usus, optimum esse fatebantur cultum legis 
majorum suorum, quos nominatim bellicosissimos asserebant.' 
When Romuald was gone to Naples, ' repente beatissimus Barbatus 
securim accipiens et ad votum pergens, suis manibus nefandam 
arborem, in qua per tot temp oris spatia Langobardi exitiale sacri- 
legium perficiebant, defossa humo a radicibus incidit, ac desuper 
terrae congeriem fecit, ut nee indicium ex ea quis postea valuerit 
reperire/ 1 This part about felling the tree has an air of swagger 
and improbability ; but the description of the heathen ceremony 
may be true to the life. I have pointed out, p. 174, that the 
Ossetes and Circassians hung up the hides of animals on poles 
in honour of divine beings, that the Goths of Jornandes truncis 
suspendebant exuvias to Mars (p. 77 note), that as a general thing 
animals were hung on sacrificial trees (pp. 75-9) ; most likely 
this tree also was sacred to some god through sacrifices, i.e. votive 
offerings of individuals, 3 hence the whole place was named ' ad 
votum/ What was the meaning of hurling javelins through the 
suspended shin, is by no means clear ; in the North it was the 
custom to shoot through a hanging raw oxhide (Fornm. sog. 3, 18. 
4, 61), as a proof of strength and skill. Doing it backwards 

1 Another Vita Barbati (ibid. p. 112) relates as follows : ' Nam quid despica- 
bilius credendum est, quam ex mortuis animalibus non carnem sed corium accipere 
ad usum comestionis, ut pravo errori subjecti Langobardi fecerunt ? qui suarum 
festa solennitatum equis praecurrentibus unus altero praecedente, sicut mos erat 
gentilium, arbori ludificae procul uon satis Benevento vota sua solvebant. Suspensa 
itaque putredo corii in hanc arborem divam, equorum sessores versis post tergum 
brachiis ignominiam corii certabant lanceolis vibrare. Cumque lanceolis esse 
vibrata pellis rnortua cerneretur, veluti pro remedio animae ex hac illusione corii 
partis mediae factam recisionem gustabant. Ecce quali ridiculo vanae mentis 
homines errori subjacebant pestifero ! ' 

2 Supra p. 360 note ; votum is not only vow, but the oblatio rei votivae : 
• votare puerum ' in Pertz 2, 93 is equiv. to offerre. 



increased the difficulty, and savours of antiquity. 1 Why the 
particle of skin that was knocked out should be eaten, it is hard 
to say ; was it to indicate that they were allowed to participate 
in the sacrifice? (p. 46 ; see Suppl.). 

And not only were those trees held sacred, under which men 
sacrificed, and on which they hung the head or hide of the 
slaughtered beast, but saplings that grew up on the top of sacri- 
ficed animals. A willow slip set over a dead foal or calf is not 
to be damaged (Sup. I, 838) ; are not these exactly Adam of 
Bremen's ' arbor es ex morte vel tabo immolatorum divinae' ? (p. 

76) . 2 

Of hallowed trees (which are commonly addressed as from, 
dame, in the later Mid. Ages) the oak stands at the head (pp. 
72-77) : an oak or beech is the arbor frugifera in casting lots 
(Tac. Germ. 10). Next to the oak, the ash was holy, as we may 
see by the myth of the creation of man ; the ashtree Yggdrasill 
falls to be treated in Chap. XXV. The wolf, whose meeting of 
you promises victory, stands under ashen boughs. ' The common 
people believe that 'tis very dangerous to break a bough from 
the ash, to this very day/ Rob. Plot's Staffordshire p. 207. One 
variety, the mountain-ash or rountree, rowan-tree, is held to have 
magical power (Brockett p. 177), 3 (conf. Chap. XXVII., Bonn). 
With dame Hazel too our folk-songs carry on conversations, and 
hazels served of old to hedge in a court of justice, as they still do 
cornfields, RA. 810. According to the Ostgota-lag (bygdab. 30), 
any one may in a common wood hew with impunity, all but oaks 
and hazels, these have peace, i.e. immunity. In Superst. 1, 972 we 
are told that oak and hazel dislike one another, and cannot agree, 
any more than haw and sloe (white and black thorn ; see Suppl.). 
Then the elder (sambucus), OHGr. holantar, enjoyed a marked 
degree of veneration ; holan of itself denotes a tree or shrub (AS. 
cneowholen=ruscus). In Lower Saxony the sambucus nigra is 

1 So the best head had to be touched backwards, RA. 396 ; so men sacrificed 
with the head turned away (p. 493), and threw backwards over their heads (p. 628). 

2 A scholium on Ad. of Bremen's Hist. eccl. (Pertz, scr. 7, 379) is worth 
quoting : ' Prope illud templum (upsaliense) est arbor maxima, lato ramos extendens, 
aestate et hieme semper virens : cujus ilia generis sit, nemo scit. Ibi etiam est ions, 
ubi sacrificia Paganorum solent exerceri, et homo vivus immergi, qui dum mi- 
mergitur (al. invenitur), ratum erit votum populi.' To sink in water was a good 
sign, as in the ordeal (RA. 924; couf. Chap. XXXI V., Witch's bath). 

3 Esculus Jovi sacra, Pliny 16, 4 (5). 


called ellorn, eZZ-horn. 1 Arnkiel's testimony 1, 179 is beyond 
suspicion : ' Thus did our forefathers also hold the ellhorn holy, and 
if they must needs clip the same, they were wont first to say this 
prayer : " Dame Ellhorn, give me somewhat of thy wood, then will 
I also give thee of mine, if so be it grow in the forest." And this 
they were wont to do sometimes with bended knees, bare head and 
folded hands, as I have ofttimes in my young days both heard 
and seen/ Compare with this the very similar accounts of elder 
rods (Sup. I, 866), of planting the elder before stables (169), of 
pouring water under the elder (864), and of the elder's mother 
(Sup. K, Dan. 162). 2 The juniper, wacholder, plays an impor- 
tant part in the marchen of machandelboom ; in the poem of the 
Mirror's adventure, fol. 38, occurs the mysterious statement : 

Fraw Weckolter, ich sich Dame Juniper, I see 

daz du ir swester bist, that thou her 3 sister art, 

du kund ouch falsche list thou knewest false cunning too 

do du daz kind verstalt. when thou stolest the child. 

A man in Sudermania was on the point of cutting down a fine 
shady juniper, when a voice cried out, ' hew not the juniper ! ' 
He disregarded the warning, aud was about to begin again, when 
it cried once more ' I tell thee, hew not down the tree ! ' and he 
ran away in a fright. 4 A similar notion lies at the bottom of 
kindermarchen no. 128, only it has a ludicrous turn given it; a 
voice out of the tree cries to the hewer, ' he that hews haspelholz 
(windlass-wood), shall die.' Under such a tree, the Klinta tall 
(deal-tree, pine) in Westmanland, dwelt a hafs-fru, in fact the 
pine tree's ra (p. 496) ; to this tree you might see snow-white 
cattle driven up from the lake across the meadows, and no one 
dared to touch its boughs. Trees of this kind are sacred to indi- 
vidual elves, woodsprites, homesprites ; they are called in Swed. 

1 AS. ellen. The Canones editi sub Eadgaro rege, cap. 16 (Thorpe, p. 396), 
speak of the sorcery practised ' on ellenum and eac on otSrurn mislicum treowum ' 
(in sainbucis et in aliis variis arboribus). 

2 The god Pushkait lives under the elder, and the Lettons used to set bread and 
beer for him beside the tree, Thorn. Hiarn, p. 43. [In Somersetshire they will not 
burn elder wood, for fear of ill luck. — Trans.] 

3 My faithless lover's. 

4 I find this quoted from Loccenius's Antiq. Sueog. 1,3; it is not in the ed. of 
1647, it may be in a later. Afzelius 2, 147 has the story with tbis addition, that at 
the second stroke blood flowed from the root, the hewer then went home, and soon 
fell sick. 



bo-trad, in Dan. boe-tm (p. 509). Under the lime-tree in the 
Hero-book dwarfs love to haunt, and heroes fall into enchanted 
sleep : the sweet breath of its blossoms causes stupefaction, D. 
Heldenb. 1871, 3, 14-5. 135 (see Suppl.). But elves in particular 
have not only single trees but whole orchards and groves assigned 
them, which they take pleasure in cultivating, witness Laurin's 
Rosegarden enclosed by a silken thread. In Sweden they call 
these gardens elftrdd-gdrdar. 

The Greek dryads ] and hamadryads have their life linked to a 
tree, and as this withers and dies, they themselves fall away and 
cease to be ; any injury to bough or twig is felt as a wound, and 
a wholesale hewing down puts an end to them at once. 3 A cry 
of anguish escapes them when the cruel axe comes near. Ovid in 
Met. 8, 742 seq., tells a beautiful story of Erisichthon's impious 
attack on the grove of Ceres : 

Ille etiam Cereale nemus violasse securr 
dicitur, et lucos ferro temerasse vetustos. 
Stabat in his ingens anno so robore quercus, 
saepe sub hac dryades festas duxere choreas . . . 
Contremuit, gemitumque dedit Deo'ia quercus, 
et pariter frondes, pariter pallescere glandes 
coepere, ac longi pallorem ducere rami. 

When the alder (erle) is hewn, it bleeds, weeps, and begins to 
speak (Meinert's Kuhlandch. 122). An Austrian marchen (Ziska 
38-42) tells of the stately fir, in which there sits a fay waited on 
by dwarfs, rewarding the innocent and plaguing the guilty ; and 
a Servian song of the maiden in the pine (fichte) whoso bark the 
boy splits with a gold and silver horn. Magic spells banish the 
ague into frau Fichte (see Suppl.). 

This belief in spirit-haunted trees was no less indigenous among 
Celts. Sulpicius Severus (beg. of 5th cent.) reports in his life of 
St. Martin, ed. Amst. 1665, p. 457 : ' Dum in vico quodam tern- 
plum antiquissimum diruisset, et arborem pinum, quae fano erat 
proxima, esset aggressus excidere, turn vero antistes ilhus luci 
ceteraque gentilium turba coepit obsistere ; et cum iidem illi, dum 
templum evertitur, imperante domino quievissent, succidi arborem 

1 AS. gloss, wudu-elfenne, wood-elfins, fern. pi. 

2 ' Non sine hamadryadis fato cadit arborea trabs.' Ausonius. 


non patiebantur. Me eos sedulo commonere, nihil esse religionis 
in stipite ; Deum potius, cui serviret ipse, sequerentar ; arborem 
illam exscindi oportere, quia esset daemoni dedicata* (see Suppl.). 
A great deal might be written on the sacredness of particular 
plants and flowers. They are either dedicated to certain gods 
and named after them (as Donners bart, p. 183. Baldrs bra, 
p. 222. Forneotes folme, p. 240. Lokkes havre, p. 242. Freyju 
Mr, Friggjar gras, p. 302-3) ; or they come of the transformation 
of some afflicted or dying man. Nearly all such plants have power 
to heal or hurt, it is true they have to be plucked and gathered 
first : the Chap, on magic will furnish examples. Like sacred 
tutelary beasts, they are blazoned on the coats-of-arms of 
countries, towns, and heroes. Thus to the Northwest Germans, 
especially Frisians and Zeelanders, the seeblatt (nymphaea, nenu- 
phar) was from the earliest times an object of veneration. The 
Hollanders call it plompe, the Frisians pompe : strictly speaking, 
the broad leaves floating on the sea are pompebledden, and the 
fragrant white flowers, golden yellow inside, swanneblommen 
(flores cygnei) ; which recals the names given at p. 489, nix- 
blume, ndckblad, muhme and mummel {i.e. swan-maiden). The 
Frisians put seven ' sea-blades ' (zeven plompenbladen) in their 
escutcheon, and under that emblem looked for victory; 1 our 
Grudrunlied (1373) knows all about it, and furnishes Herwic of 
Sewen or Selanden with a sky-blue flag : c sebleter swebent (float) 
dar inne/ This sea-flower is the sacred lotus of old Egypt, and 
is also honoured in India ; the Tibetans and Nepalese bow down 
to it, it is set up in temples, Brahma and Vishnu float on its leaf; 
and it is no other than a M. Nethl. poem that still remembers 
Thumbkin floating on the leaf (p. 451). 

1 J. H. Halbertsma's Het Buddhisme en zijn stichter, Deventer 1843, pp. 3. 10 ; 
and lie adds, that the people are to this day very careful in picking and carrying the 
plompen: if you fall with the flower in your hand, you get the falling sickness. 
Plomben, our plumpfen, ON. pornpa, means plumping or plunging down. Ace. to 
W. Barnes, ' butterpumps = ovary of the yellow waterlily ;' conf. Lith. pumpa, Slav, 
pupa, wen, pimple? Mart. Hamconii Frisia, Franekarae 1620, p. 7, says Friso intro- 
duced the cognisance of the seven sea-blades : ' insigne Frisonis, ut Cappidus refert, 
septem fuerunt rubra nympheae herbae folia, in tribus argenteis constitutae trabibus 
per scutum caeruleum oblicme ductis.' Cappidus is said to have been a priest at Sta- 
vorn at the beg. of the 10th century, but nothing more is known of him. Conf. Van 
d. Bergh's Volksoverlev. p. 33. 41. 110. Others connect the division of Friesland 
into 7 sea-lands with the 7 leaves of the scutcheon ; it is not known for certain when 
that division first began ; see De vrije Yries 4, 137. 


2. Animals. 

We shall have still more to say about sacred animals, which 
enter into more intimate relations with man than dumb nature 
can ; but their cultus will admit of being referred to two or three 
principal causes. Either they stood connected with particular 
gods, and to some extent in their service, as the boar belongs 
to Fro, the wolf and raven to Wuotan; or there lies at the basis 
the metamorphosis of a higher being into some animal shape, 
on the strength of which the whole species comes to be invested 
with a halo of honour. That is how we may in some instances 
have to take a bear, bull, cow or snake, presupposing an in- 
carnation, though our mythology may have long ceased to reach 
so far back as to give a full account of it. Then, bordering 
close upon such a lowering of the god into the animal, comes 
the penal degradation of man into a beast, the old doctrine 
of transmigration, in which we discover a third reason for the 
consecration of animals, though it does not warrant an actual 
worship of them. Those myths, e.g. of the cuckoo, woodpecker, 
nightingale, and so on, furnish a fund of beautiful tales, which 
enter largely into the hero-worship (see Suppl.). 

Quadeupeds. — Foremost of animals I name the horse, the 
noblest, wisest, trustiest of domestic animals, with whom the hero 
holds friendly talk (p. 392), who sympathizes in his griefs and 
rejoices in his victories. As some heroes are named after the 
horse (Hengest, Hors), the horse too has proper names given him ; 
Norse mythology assigns to nearly every god his separate horse, 
endowed with miraculous powers. OSin's steed is named Sleipnir 
(p. 154), and is, like some giants and heroes, an octopod. 1 The 
other horses of the ases are enumerated by Sa3m. 44 a and Sn. 18, 
without specifying to which they belonged. Several names are 
formed with ' faxi ' (jubatus, comatus, OHG. vahso), as SMnfaxi 
(S»m. 32. Sn. 11), GuUfaxi (Sn. 107-10), Hrimfaxi (Saem. 32. 
91. Sn. 11), Fr&yfam (Vatnsd. 140-1). Of these, GuUfaxi the 
gold-maned belonged to giant Hriingnir, Skinfaxi the shiny- 

1 Old riddle on O'Sinn and Sleipnir in the Hcrvararsaga : ' Who are the two that 
go to Thing (council) together, and have three eyes, ten legs and one tail between 
them? ' A mode of expression quite of a piece with our old habits of speech ; thus 
in the Weisthiimer it is said the officers of the court shall come to the assize with 6^ 
mouths, meaning three men on horseback and a dog. 


maned was the steed of Day, and Hrimfaxi the rirny-maued 
(p. 641) of Night. But even Faxi by itself is a name for horses, 
e.g. Fornald. sog. 2, 168. 508. Arvakr (early-waker) , Alsvi&r 
(all-wise) are horses of the sun-chariot, Ssem. 45. Sn. 12 ; on 
Arvakr' s ear, on Alsvinn's l hoof, there were runes written ; also 
runes 'a Slevpnis tonnoni (teeth)/ Ssam. 196 a , as well as on the 
bear's paw and the wolf's claws. 3 Sva&tifari was the horse that 
helped the giant in building, Sn. 46. And our hero-legend has 
handed down the names of many famous horses (p. 392). Bajart 
is described as intelligent, like AlsvrSr; he is said to be still alive 
in Ardennes forest, where you may hear him neigh every year on 
Midsummer day (Quatre fils Aimon 180 c ). The track of Schim- 
ming's shoe stands printed on the rock, Vilk. saga cap. 37 (see 

The Freyfaxi in Vatnsdaslasaga was owned by a man named 
Brandr, who is said to have worshipped it (at haun hef$L atriina'3 
a Faxa), and was therefore called Faxabrandr. The unpublished 
saga of Hrafnkell is known to me only from Miiller's Bibl. 1, 103, 
but he too had a horse Freyfaxi (mispr. Freirfara), which he 
had half given to Freyr, vowing at the same time to slay the 
man who should mount it without his leave. I can give the 
passage from Joh. Erici de philippia apud priscos boreales, Lips. 
1755, p. 122 : ' Hrafnkell atti ]>ann grip i eigo sinni, er hanom 
botti betri enn annar, bat var hestr bleikalottr at lit, er hann 
kalla'Si Freyfaxa, hann cjaf Frey vin sinom (supra, pp. 93. 211) 
fienna liest half aim. a bessom hesti hafbi hann sva mikla elsko 
(love), at hann strengdi bess heit (vow), at hann skyldi beim 
manni at bana verSa, er beim hesti rrSi an hans vilja.' Brand's 
' atriina'S ' refers, no doubt, to the same circumstance of his horse 
being hallowed and devoted to the god. A striking testimony 
to this is found in Olafs Tryggvasonar saga : 3 Tidings came to 
the king, that the Trsendir (men of Drontheim) had turned back 
to the worship of Freyr, whose statue still stood among them. 
When the king commanded them to break the image, they re- 
plied: ' ei munum ver bridta Wkncski Freys, ]?viat ver hofum leingi 

1 Svi'Sr, gen. svirms, like rna'Sr, marms. 

2 Eeminding of the Germ. Beast-apologue (Reiub. cclxiii.). In Fornald. sog. 
1, 169 Eafn prefers, wrongly I think, the reading ' hofSi,' head. 

3 Ed. Skalh. 1698. 1690. 2, 190 cap. 49 ; this cap. is left out in Fornru. sog. 2, 
189, but inserted at 10, 312. 

HOESES. 657 

honum bionat ok liefr oss vel diigat.' Olafr summoned them 
to an assembly, resolving to destroy the idol himself, and sailed 
to the coast where the temple (hof) stood. When he landed, he 
found the horses of the god grazing there (]>& siiu hans menn stoft- 
hross nokr vr3 vegin, er beir sogSu at hann Freyr aetti). The 
king mounted the stallion, and his courtiers the mares, and so 
they rode to the temple ; Olafr dismounted, walked in and threw 
down the idols (gob'in), 1 but took Frey's image away with him. 
When the Traendir found their gods dishonoured, and Frey's 
image carried off, they were ware that the king had done it, and 
they came to the place of meeting. The king had the image set 
up in the Thing, and asked the people : ' know ye this man ? ' 
' It is Freyr our god ' they answered. ' How has he shewn his 
power to you V 'He has often spoken to us, foretold the 
future, granted plenty and peace (veitti oss ar oc friS) .' f The 
devil spake to you ' said the king ; then taking an axe, he cried 
to the image : ' Now help thyself, and defend thee if thou canst/ 
Freyr continuing silent, Olafr hewed off both his hands, and then 
preached to the people how this idolatry had arisen. The whole 
narrative bears the impress of a later age, yet it had sprung out 
of Norse tradition, and assures us that liaises were consecrated to 
Freyr, and maintained in the hallowed precincts of his temples. 
Had not the temples of other gods such horses too ? The animals 
that Wilibrord found grazing in Fosete's sanctuary (p. 230) can 
hardly have been horses, or he would not have had them slaugh- 
tered for food; but the practice of rearing cattle consecrated to 
the gods is established by it none the less. And apart from this, 
it seems that single beasts were maintained by private worship- 
pers of the god. 

Such breed of pure and dedicated horses was destined for holy 
uses, especially sacrifice, divination, and the periodical tours of 
deities in their cars. Their manes were carefully cultivated, 
groomed and decorated, as the name Faxi indicates; probably 
gold, silver and ribbons were twined or plaited into the locks 
{Gullfaxi, Skhifaxi) ; mon gl&ar (juba splendet), Stem. 92% lysir 
mon af mari (lucet juba ex equo) 32 b , as indeed the Lat. jubar 
suggests juba, because a mane does radiate, and light sends out 

1 So that there were other Btatues standing beside Frey's. 


beams in the manner of hair. 1 Gulltoppr, Silfrintoppr are names 
of horses whose tails were tied round with gold or silver, Sn. 44. 
The names Gyllir and Gler (golden, glittering, ibid.) may be 
given them for the same reason, or because their hoofs were 
shod with gold, or from the gilding of the bridle and saddle. 
Of colours, white was esteemed the noblest ; a king would make 
his eutry, or bestow a fief, seated on a milk-white steed. The 
Weisthiimer often mention the white horse (e.g. 3, 342. 857) ; if 
an inheritance lie vacant, the governor is to mount a white foal, 
and taking one man before him and the other behind, to set one 
of them down on the property (3, 831; conf. 2, 541). A foal 
was esteemed even purer and nobler than a horse (see Suppl.). 2 

Tacitus (Germ. 9, 10), after saying ' lucos ac nemora conse- 
crant, 5 adds : ' Proprium gentis, equorum quoque praesagia ac 
monitus experiri. Publice aluntur, iisdem nemoribus ac lucis, 
candidi et nullo mortali opere contacti, quos pressos sacro curru 
sacerdos ac rex vel princeps civitatis comitantur, hinnitusque ac 
fremitus observant. Nee ulli auspicio major fides, non solum 
apud plebem, sed apud proceres, apud sacerdotes : se euim 
ministros deorum, illos conscios putant ; ' these sacred beasts are 
in the secrets of the gods, and can reveal their counsels. And in 
christian times the Indiculus pagan, cap. xiii. speaks ' de a,uguriis 
equorum/ without describing them further. A horse's neigh is 
an omen of good (Sup. I, 239). 3 To warriors victory was fore- 
tokened by their chargers' neighing (OHGr. hueion, MHG. weien, 
M. Neth. neien, ON. hneggja, Swed. gnagga), and defeat by 
their withholding the cheerful spirit-stirring strain : see an in- 
stance in the Flem. rhyming chron., ed. Kausler 7152. We 

1 Single hairs out of the inane or tail of a sacred horse were treasured up. 
Franz Wessel relates, p. 1-1, that when the Johannites preached in a town or village, 
they had a fine stallion ridden round, to which the people offered ' afgehowen 
woppen (bunch of oat ears) ' ; any one who could get a hair out of the horse's tail, 
thought himself lucky, and sewed it into the middle of his milk-strainer, and the 
milk was proof against witchcraft. 

2 A foal's tooth, it seems, was hung about the person, and worn as a safeguard. 
A MHG. poet says : ' gevater unde fuli-zant an grozen nceten sint ze swach,' god- 
fathers and foal's teeth are too weak in great emergencies, MS. 2, 160 b . To let 
children ride on a black foal makes them cut their teeth easily, Superst. I, 428. 
From Eracl. 1320. 1485 fiil-zene appear to be the milk-teeth shed by a foal (see 

3 What the breath of a swine has polluted, is set right again by that of the 
horse (Sup. I, 820. K, 92) ; the horse is a clean animal. It helps a woman in labour, 
for a horse to feed out of her apron (Sup. I, 337). 

HORSES. 659 

know how the Persians chose a king by the neighing of his 
horse, Herod. 3, 84. In the Norwegian tale Grirnsborken (Asb. 
and Moe, no. 38) a foal is suckled by twelve mares, and gets to 
talk sensibly (see Suppl.). 

And as Mi mi's head retained its wisdom after it was cut off 
(379), heathendom seems to have practised all sorts of magic by 
cutting off horse's heads and sticking them up. In a nursery-tale 
(no. 89) the trusty Falada's head is nailed up over the gate, and 
carries on converse with the king's daughter. This cutting off 
and setting up of horse's heads has been mentioned at p. 47-8 as 
an ancient German custom. Pliny 19, 10 (58) notices, as a remedy 
for caterpillars : ' si palo imponantur in hortis ossa capitis ex 
equino genere.' In Scandinavia they stuck a horse's head on a 
pole, and turned the gaping jaws, propped open with a stick, in 
the direction whence the man they had a spite against, and 
wished to harm, was sure to come. 1 This was called a neidstange 
(spite-stake). Saxo Gram. p. 75 : Immolati diis equi abscissum 
caput conto excipiens, subjectis stipitibus distentos faucium rictus 
appniit, sperans se primos Erici conatus atrocis spectaculi for- 
midine frustraturum. Arbitrabatur enim ineptas barbarorum 
mentes oblatae cervicis terriculamento cessuras; et jam Ericus 
obvium illis iter agebat. Qui prospecto eminus capite, obscoenita- 
tis apparatum intelligens, silere socios cautiusque se gerere jubet, 
nee quemquam temere praacipitare sermonem, ne incauto effamine 
ullurn maleficiis instruerent locum, adjiciens, si sermone opus 
incideret, verba se pro omnibus habiturum. Jamque medius illos 
amnis secreverat, cum magi, ut Ericum pontis aditu deturbarent, 
en n firm quo equi caput refixerant fluvio citiraum locant. Ille 
nihilominus pontem intrepide aggressus, 'in latorem' inquit 
( gestaminis sui fortuna recidat, nos melior consequatur eventus. 
Male maleficis cedat, infaustae molis gerulum onus obruat, nobis 
potiora tribuant omina sospitatem ! ' Nee secus quam optabatur 
evenit : continuo namque excussa cervice ruens ferentem stipes 
oppressit. — Egilssaga p. 389 : Egill tok i kond ser heslis staung 
(hazel rod), ok geek a bergsnaus nockura, )ki er vissi til lands 
inn. ]>& tok hann hross-hofucf ok setti up a staungina. siSan veitti 

1 Wolves' heads were in like manner held open with hazel rods and hung up 
Isengr. 645-7-8. Reinardus 3, 293. 312. Reinnart, introd. p. lxix. 


liann forraala ok meelti sva : 'her set ek upp ni&staung, ok sny 
ek ]?essu ni'Si a hond Eiriki konimgi ok Gunnhilda drottnmgu.' 
hann sneri hross-lwf&lnu inn a land. — At other times they carved 
a man's head out of wood, and fastened it to a stake which was 
inserted in the breast of a slaughtered horse} Vatnsd. saga, p. 
142 : Iokull skar karls hofut a sulu endann, ok risti a riiuar med 
ollum heim formala sem fyrr var sagdr, siSan drap Iokull mer 
eina (killed a mare), ok opnuSu hana hia briostinu, foerffu a 
suluna, ok letu horfa ]?eim a Borg (see Suppl.). It is well worth 
noticing, that to this very day the peasants' houses in a part 
of Lower Saxony (Liineburg, Holstein, Mecklenburg) have horses' 
heads carved on the gables : they look upon it merely as an orna- 
ment to the woodwork of the roof, but the custom may reach 
far back, and have to do with the heathen belief in outward- 
pointing heads keeping mischief away from houses. 2 The Jahrb. 
of the Meckl. verein 2, 118 says, these horses' heads are nailed 
transversely on each gable-end (ktihlende) of the roof, a remin- 
iscence of the sacred horses of the ancients. Heinr. Schreiber 
(Taschenb. f. 1840, p. 240 seq.) has likewise noticed these horses 
rushing at each other on gables of the older houses in Romanic 
Rhsetia (not Germ. Switz., but Tyrol ; see Zingerle's Sitten 
p. 55) ; he is decidedly over hasty in pronouncing them a Celtic 
symbol, for if we were to say that the custom in L. Saxony was 
a legacy from the earlier Celtic inhabitants, criticism would lose 
all firm footing. To me this custom, as well as horse-worship 
altogether, seems to belong equally to Celts, Teutons and Slavs ; 
what particular branches of these races were most addicted to 
it, will by degrees unfold itself to future research (see Suppl.). 
Prastorius (Weltbeschr. 2, 162-3) relates, that the Non- German 
people (Wends) used to keep off or extirpate cattle-plagues by 
fixing round their stables the heads of mad horses and cows on 

1 Conf. Sup. I, 838, planting the willow in the dead foal's mouth. 

2 Pretty much as they turned the eagle's head on the house, and thought 
thereby to shift the wind (p. 633-4). The heathen practice of fastening up animals' 
heads explains many very old names of places in Germ, and France, as Berhaupten, 
Tierluiupten, Boshaupten, Schm. 2, 223. Ad locum qui nuncupatur caput caballi- 
num, Pertz 2, 278. Ad locum qui vocatur caput equi (Vita S. Magni, in Canisius's 
Lect. ant. 1, 667), with the addition in Goldast (Scr. rer. Alem. i. 2, 198) : ' et idcirco 
vocatus est ille locus caput equi, quia omnes venatores reliquerant ibi suos caballos, 
et pedestres ibant ad venandum.' Obviously a false later interpretation ; in fact 
this life of St. Magnus (Magnoald, Mangold) has a good many interpolations, conf. 
Mabillon*s Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 505. 

HORSES. 661 

hedge-stakes; also that if at night their horses were ridden 
to exhaustion by the night-hag or leeton, they put a horse's head 
among the fodder in the crib, and this would curb the spirit's 
power over the beast. Very likely the superstitious burying of 
a dead head in the stable (I, 815) means that of a horse, 1 conf. 
Chap. XXXVIII., Nightmare. In Holland they hang a horse's 
head over pigstyes (Westendorp p. 518), in Mecklenburg it is 
placed under a sick man's pillow (Jahrb. 2, 128). We saw 
the horse's head thrown into the Midsummer fire with a view to 
magical effects (p. G18). 2 

Praetorius's account is enough to shew that Slavs agreed with 
Germans in the matter of horse- worship. But older and weightier 
witnesses are not wanting. Dietmar of Merseburg (6, 17. p. 812) 
reports of the Luitizers, i.e. Wilzes : c Terrain cum tremore 
infodiunt, quo sortibus emissis [imm. ?] rerum certitudinem du- 
biarum perquirant. Quibus finitis, cespite viridi eas operientes, 
equum, qui maximus inter alios habetur et ut sacer ab his vener- 
atur, super fixas in terram duorum cuspides hastilium inter se 
transmissorum supplici obsequio ducunt, et praemissis sortibus 
quibus id explicavere prius, per hunc quasi divinum denuo 
augurantur ; et si in duabus his rebus par omen apparet, factis 
completur; sin autem, a tristibus populis hoc prorsus omittitur.' 
— The Vita beati Ottonis episcopi bambergensis, composed by an 
unknown contemporary (Canisius iii. 2, 70), relates more fully of 
the Pomeranians, whom Otto converted a.d. 1124: ' Habebant 
eaballum mirae magnitudinis, et pinguem, nigrl coloris, et acrem 
valde. Iste toto anni tempore vacabat, tantaeque fuit sanctitatis 
ut nullum dignaretur sessorem; habuitque unum de quatuor 
sacerdotibus templorum custodem diligentissimum. Quando ergo 
itinera terrestri contra hostes aut praedatum ire cogitabant, 
eventum rei hoc niodo solebant praediscere. Hastae novem dis- 
ponebantur humo, spatio unius cubiti ab invicem separatae. 
Strato ergo caballo atque frenato, sacerdos, ad quern pertinebat 
custodia illius, tentum freno per jaeentes hastas transversa m 
ducebat ter, atque reducebat. Quod si pedibus inoffensis hastisque 

1 Conf. Fornald. sog. 2, 168. 300, what is said of Faxi's hross-haus. 

- Why should the monks in the abbey have a caput caballinum / Reinhar''us 
3, 2032. 2153. Does the expression spun out of a dead hurne's head ' in Burcaid, 
Waldis 1, 2, mean enchanted ? 


indisturbatis equus transibat, signum habuere prosperitatis, et 
securi pergebant ; sin autem, quiescebant.' — Here the holy steed 
is led across nine spears lying a cubit apart from one another, in 
Dietmar's older narrative over the points of two crossed spears ; 
of course the Luitizers may have had a different method from the 
Pomeranians. Saxo Gram. p. 321 gives yet a third account of 
the matter respecting the Slavs of Riigen : ' Praeterea peculiarem 
albi coloris equum tit\x\o possidebat (numen), cujus jubae out caudae 
pilos convellere nefarium ducebatur. Hunc soli sacerdoti pascendi 
insidendique jus erat, ne divini animalis usus quo frequentior hoc 
vilior haberetur. In hoc equo, opinione Rugiae, Svantovitus (id 
simulacro vocabulum erat) adversus sacrorum suorum hostes bella 
gerere credebatur. Cujus rei praecipuum argumentum exstabat, 
quod is nocturno tempore stabulo insistens adeo plerumque mane 
sudore ac luto respersus videbatur, 1 tanquam ab exercitatione 
veniendo magnorum itinerum spacia percurrisset. Auspicia 
quoque per eundem equum hujusmodi sumebantur. Cum bellum 
adversum aliquam provinciam suscipi placuisset, ante fanum tri- 
plex hastarum ordo ministrorum opera disponi solebat, in quorum 
quolibet binae e traverso junctae conversis in terram cuspidibus 
figebantur, aequali spaciorum magnitudine ordines disparante. 
Ad quos equus ductandae expeditionis tempore, solenni precatione 
praemissa, a sacerdote e vestibulo cum loramentis productus, si 
propositos ordines ante dextro quam laevo pede transcenderet, 
faustum gerendi belli omen accipiebatur. Sin laevum vel semel 
dextro praetulisset, petendae provinciae propositum mutabatur.' — 
This description is still more exact : the sacred horse, here attri- 
buted to the deity himself who bestrides him by night, is led 
three times over two spears planted crosswise, that is, over six 
spears, and must, for the omen to be favourable, pass each row 
with his right foot foremost ; if at even one row he has lifted 
the left before the right, misfortune is threatened. The colour 
ascribed to the steed is white as in Tacitus, not black as in the 
biographer of Otto. 

The Chronica Augustensis ad. an. 1068 (in Freher 1, 349) 
says, that Bp. Burcard of Halberstadt (the Buko still known in 

1 As the horse ridden by the night-spirit is covered with dust and sweat the 
next morning (see p. 287 and Suppl.). 

HORSES. 663 

our children's game) took away their sacred horse from the 
Lutizers, and rode home to Saxony on it himself: 'Burcardus 
Halberstatensis episcopus Luiticiorum provinciam ingressus in- 
cendit, vastavit, avectoque equo quern pro deo in Rheda 1 aolebant, 
super eum sedens in Saxoniam rediit.'' 

May we then adopt the hypothesis, that Dietmar and the 
Augsburg chronicler mean the sacred horse of Radigast at 
Rhetra, and Saxo and the author of the Vita Ottonis that of 
Sviatovit at Arkona ? Each of these gods 2 had horses hallowed 
to him, and others may have had the same. And so in Germany 
too, horses may have been dedicated to several deities, and 
divination performed with them under similar forms ; especially 
to the gods Frouwo (p. 656) and Wuotan (p. 154-5-6). 

Some accounts of the reverence paid to sacred horses in Dit- 
marsen have a doubtful look. The Rieswold or Riesumwold on 
the confines of N. and S. Ditmarsen is said to have been a holy 
wood, in which human sacrifices were offered, and white horses 
consecrated to gods were maintained. 3 This is simply an unauthor- 
ized appropriation of the statement in Tacitus to a particular 
locality. There is more of local colour in what Bolten 1, 262 re- 
peats after the suspicious Carsten, that at Windbergen there 
stood a grove set apart to Hesus (!), which is still called Hesc 
or Heseholt. 4 In the grove two white horses, a young and an 
old, were fed for the god, no one was allowed to mount them, and 
good or bad auguries were gathered from their neighing and 
leaping. Some talk of ten or even twenty horses. A priest of 
the god stuck staves in the ground, led the bridled steed along, 
and by certain processes made it leap slowly over the starves. 
Joh. Aldolfi, i.e. Neocorus, who is cited in support, says nothing 
at all about it. The immunity from mounting is another point of 
agreement with those Slav horses. 

1 Not ' in rheda ' (Wedekiud's Notes 1, 173). Ehetra, a chief place of Slav 
heathenism, placed by Adam of Bremen in the land of the Eetharii, where stands 
the temple of Redigost ; Dietmar gives the Lutiz town in the ' grau Riedera ' itself 
the name of Riedegost. 

2 Sviatovit or Svantevit has been confounded with St. Vitus, sanctus Vitus 
(conf. Acta sanctor. 15 Jun. p. 1018) ; but we cannot possibly make the god 
Svantevit originate in Vitus. 

3 Falk's Collection of treatises, 5, 103. Tondern, 1828. 

4 This Hese-ivood may however remind us of the ' silva Heisi, Hese ' on the 
Rubr in Westph. (Lacombl. no. 6. 17. Gl. 260) and the ' silva caesia' 1 of Tacitus. 



But in the case of the heathen Livonians the Slav custom 
admits of proof. The Chronicon livonicum vetus relates ad 
an. 1192 (in Gruber p. 7): ' Colligitur populus, voluntas deorum 
de immolatione (fratris Theoderici cisterciensis) sorte inquiritur. 
Ponitur lancea, calcat equus ; pedem vitae deputatum (the right 
foot) nutu dei praeponit. Orat frater ore, manu benedicit. 
Ariolus deum Christianorum equi dorso insidere et pedem equi 
ad praeponendum movere asserit, et ob hoc equi dorsum tergen- 
dum, quo deus elabatur. Quo facto, dum equus vitae pedem 
praeponit ut prius, frater Theodoricus vitae reservatur.' Here a 
heathen and a christian miracle met. 

This worship was also an Old Prussian one : ' Prussorum aliqui 
equos nigros, quidam albi colons, propter deos suos non aude- 
bant aliqualiter equitare.' Dusburg 3, 5 (see Suppl.). 1 

The sacrificing of horses, and the eating of horseflesh inseparable 
from it, have been noticed (pp. 47-49). Strabo reports, that the 
Yeneti offered a white horse to Diomed (v. 1, 9. Siebenk. 2, 111. 
Casaub. 215. Kramer 1, 339). The Indians get up grand horse- 
sacrifices with imposing ceremonies. What is told of the Kal- 
muks appears worthy of notice. Among them you see numbers 
of scaffolds erected, bearing horses' hides and heads, the remains 
of former sacrifices. By the direction of the horse's head to east 
or west, you can tell if the sacrifice was offered to a good or 
evil spirit. 2 On the one hand it suggests that sacrificial fixing 
of horses' heads in a particular direction in Germany, which 
under Christianity was treated as wicked sorcery ; and on the 
other hand the ' pira equinis sellis constructa ' in Jornandes, and 
the arj/xa of the Scythian kings in Herodotus (see RA. 676, and 
Suppl.). 3 

Of honours paid to oxen I have not so much to tell, though 
they are not at all a matter of doubt, if only because bullocks 
were sacrificed, and bulls drew the car of the Frankish kings, RA. 
262. War-chariots continued to have oxen till late in the Mid. 
Awes : ' capto ducis (Lovaniensis) vexillo, dicto gallice standart, 

1 Sup. M, 35 shews that Esthonians ascribe prophetic powers to the horse. 

2 Ledebour's Eeise nach dem Altai, Berl. 1830. 2, 54-5. 

3 A Sansk. name for the horse is Sr'tbhratri, brother of Sri (Lakshrni), because, 
like her (and Apbrodite) it rose out of the sea-waves, Pott 2, 407. Still more 
natural is the identification of horse and ship. 

oxex. G65 

opere plumario a regina Angliae ei misso, quod fastu superbiae 
quadriga bourn ferebat/ Chapeaville 2, 69 (an. 1129). A chariot 
drawn by four ivhite oxen in Lorraine occurs in Scheffer's Haltaus, 
p. 251. In Plutarch's Marius cap. 23 is the well-known story of 
the Cimbrians swearing over a brazen bull, by which the Mecklen- 
burgers account for the bull's head in their arms (Mascov 1, 13). 
At Hvitabter the people worshipped an ox (Fornald. sog. 1, 253), 
at Upsal a cow (1, 254. 260-6. 270-2; see Suppl.). 

Whilst among horses the stallion is more honoured than the 
mare, among neat the cow seems to take the lead. Klne were 
yoked to the car of Nerthus [and two milch- kine to the ark of 
Jehovah] . The Edda speaks of a cow named Au&umbla, which 
plays a great part in the origin of men and gods (p. 559), and was 
no doubt regarded as a sacred beast. By the side of that faith 
in horses (p. 656) we find an 'atrunaSr a ku.' King Eysteinn of 
Sweden put faith in a cow called Sibil] a : 'hun var sva miuk 
blotin (so much worshipped), at menu mattu eigi standast lat 
hennar' ; they used to lead her into battle, Fornald. sog. 1, 251. 
260. King Ogvaldr carried a sacred cow with him everywhere, 
by sea and by land, and constantly drank of her milk (Fornm. 
sog. 2, 138. 10,302).! 

The horns of cows, like the manes of horses, were adorned 
with gold: ( gull kyr ndar kyr/ Seem. 73 a . 141 a ; and the herdsman 
of the Alps still decks the horns of his cattle with ribbons and 
flowers. Oxen for sacrifice are sure not to have lacked this 

The Sanskrit gavs (bos and vacca), root go, ace. gam, Pers. 
ghau, gho, corresponds to Lett, gohw, OHG. chuo, AS. cu, ON. 
kyr. What is more important, ' go ' likewise means terra and 
plaga (Bopp's Gram. § 123. Gloss, p. 108 b ), so that it touches 
the Gr. yd, 77}. Taking with this the presence of Au&umbla in 
the Norse history of creation, we can perhaps connect rinta (the 
earth) and Rindr (p. 251) with our rind armentum ; it is true 
this 'rind' originally began with hr (Graff 4, 1171), and is the 

1 What can the black cow mean in the following phrases? ' the b. c. crushes 
him ' (Hiipel's Livland. idiot. 131); 'the b. c. has trodden him' (Etner's Apoth. 
514). The Hor. Belg. 6, 97. 101 (conf. 2 - 2;5) speaks ' van onser goeden blaren cur, van 
miere blaren coe' ; and Ir. elfenm. cxx. of the blue cow. It is dangerous to Kill 
the black cow, Sup. I, 887. A Slovfenic name for the rainbow is mavra = black uow. 
[Eng. ' the b. c. has trodden on his foot,' of sorrow, esp. bereavement.] 


AS. hrySer, broker, but who can tell whether ' rinde ' cortex was 
not once aspirated too ? Evpooirr], the name of one quarter of 
the earth, must surely also mean earth (evpela the broad) , and on 
p. 338 I made a guess that Europe/,, whom Zeus courted in the 
shape of a bull, must herself have been thought of as a cow, like 
Io ; it was not the earth took name from her, but she from the 
earth. On the worship of cows and oxen by the Indians, Egypt- 
ians and Romans, I refer to A. W. SchlegeFs learned treatise. 1 
The Israelites also made a burnt- offering of ' a red heifer (Goth, 
kalbo) upon which never came yoke/ Numb. 19, 2 (see Suppl.). 

The boar and the he-goat were holy sacrificial beasts (p. 50-1-2), 
the boar 2 dedicated to Freyr (p. 213), he and she goats to Thurr 
(p. 185), as goats are even yet considered devil's creatures. 3 To 
that divine boar's account I think we are also entitled to set 
down the old song out of which Notker has preserved a passage 
(he whose foreign learning so seldom suffers him to put down 
anything he knew of his own country) : 

Imo sint fuoze fuodermaze, 
imo sint burste ebenho forste, 
unde zene sine zuelif-elnige ; 

his bristles are even-high with the forest, and his tusks twelve ells 
long. A reason for the veneration of the boar has been found 
in the fact that he roots up the ground, and men learnt from him 
to plough. The Slavs also seem to have worshipped boars : 
' Testatur idem antiquitas, errore delusa vario, si quando his 
saeva longae rebellionis asperitas immineat, ut e mari praedicto 
(near Riedergost) aper magnus et candido dente e spumis luces- 
cente exeat, seque in volutabro delectatum terribili quassatione 
multis ostendat/ Ditm. merseb. p. 812 (see Suppl.). 

None but domestic animals were fit for sacrifice, and not all of 
them, in particular not the dog, though he stands on much the 
same footing with his master as the horse ; he is faithful and in- 
telligent, yet there is something mean and unclean about him, 

1 Ind. bibl. 2, 288—295. 

2 He enjoys a double appellation : OHG. epur, AS. eofor ; and OHG. per, AS. 
bar (Goth, bills?). 

3 While God (Wuotan) made tbe wolf (p. 147), the devil (Donar?) produced the 
goat. In some places they will not eat goats' feet (Tobler p. 214). 


■which makes his name a handle to the tongue of the scorner. It 
seems worthy of notice, that dogs can see spirits (Sup. I, 1111), 
and recognise an approaching god while he is yet hidden from 
the human eye. When Grimnir entered the house of Geirr6"Sr, 
there was f eingi hundr sva olnir, at a hann mundi hlaupa/ the 
kino- bade seize the dark-cloaked giant, ' er eigi vildo hundar 
ara^a/ Seem. 39. 40. So when Hel prowls about, the dogs per- 
ceive her. The Greeks had exactly the same notion : at Athena's 
approach, no one espies her, not even Telemachos, only Odysseus 
and the dogs, Od. 16, 160 : 

ov8' apa TrjXe/jbaxos tSev avriov, ovB' evo^crev, 
ov yap 7T(w Travreacri 6eol (palvovrat ivap<yeis, 
aW' 'Oovaevs re /cvveq re 'i$ov, kcli p' ov% vXulovto, 1 
/cvv£rj0p,a> erepcocre Bed GTaOfiolo (po{3r]0ev, 

(they did not bark, but fled whining through the tent). — The 
howling of dogs is ominous (Sup. I, 493), and gives notice of fire. 
OSinn is provided with dogs, 'VrSris grey,' Sasm. 15P ; so are 
the norns (p. 410), 'noma grey,' 273 a . But whence arose the 
story in the early Mid. Ages, of St. Peter and his dog ? In the 
AS. Saturn and Solomon (Kemble p. 186), one asks : c saga me, 
hwilc man erost wasre ivicF hund sprecende ? ' and the other 
answers : ' ic ]>e secge, sanctus Petras.' The Nialss. cap. 158 p. 
275 contains a spell to save from the power of the watersprite : 
( runnit hefr hundr fiinn, Petr 'postoli, till Roms tysvar (twice), ok 
mundi (would) renna it brroja sinn, ef ]ni leyfdir' (see Suppl.). 

Among wild beasts of the wood were some that men regarded 
with awe, and treated with respect: above all, the bear, wolf and 
fox. I have shewn that it was an ancient and widespread custom 
in Europe to bestow names of honour on these three (Reinh. p. 
lv. ccvii. 446), 2 and that with our ancestors the boar passed for 
the king of beasts (p. xlviii. seq. ccxcv.). A doc. of 1290 (Lang's 
Regr 4, 467) presents the surname 'Chuonratder h&iligbar'; with 
this connect the name Ealecbern (Trad. corb. Wig. § 268), the 
ON. Hallbiomj and the still older names, male and female, ON. 

1 In a Dan. folksong 1, 207-9 they bark at a spectre. Barking and not bark- 
ing are the same thing here. 

2 A striking confirmation appears in V. Hugo's Notre Daino de Paris 2, 272 : lie 
states, from a book or from oral tradition, that, the Gipsies call the fox piedbUu, 
cuureur ties bois, the wolf piedgris, pteddorg, and the bear vieux or ijrandpere. 


Asbiorn, AS. Osbeorn, OHG-. An spew, and ON". Asbirna, OHG. 
Anspirin (in Walth. Ospirn), Ospirinberg, MB. 28. 2, 123; ap- 
parently the legend of the animal's sacredness was still in full 
swing among the people. Biom was a side-name of Thorr, and 
Welsh legend presents king Arthur as a bear and a god, which is 
not to be accounted for by the mere resemblance of his name to 
aprcro<; : the bear in the sky plays a most dignified part. In the 
Edda a by-name of the bear is Vetrli&i, hiemem sustinens (Sn. 
179. 222), because he sleeps through winter, and winter was 
called biarnar-nott ; the name was passed on to men, as ' VetrliM 
skald' in Fornm. sog. 2, 202, and a Vetrliffi 3, 107 whose name 
reproduces his father's name Asbiorn. 1 The myth of the white 
bear and the wee wight was alluded to, p. 479. It is not to 
be overlooked, that certain beast-fables get converted into human 
myths, and vice versa : e.g., the parts of bear and fox are handed 
over to a giant or the devil. Thus, the Esthonian tale of the 
man who goes partners with the bear in raising turnips and oats 
(Reinhart cclxxxviii.) is elsewhere told of a man and the devil. 
Such overlapping of the beast-fable with other traditions is an 
additional guarantee of the epic nature of the former. — Two 
wolves, Geri and Freki, were sacred to OSinn : whatever food was 
set before him, he gave to them to eat, Sn. 4; they were, so 
to speak, the hounds of the god (VrSris grey). I should like to 
know where Hans Sachs picked up that striking notion of the 
Lord God having chosen wolves to be His hunting dogs. 2 A 
son of Loki, Fenrisiilfr, makes his appearance in wolf's shape 
among the gods ; no metamorphosis occurs more frequently in 
our antiquities than that of men into were-wolves. — Both wolf 
and bear are a favourite cognisance in coats of arms, and a great 
many names of men are compounded with them : neither fact is 
true of the fox. Hence the dearth of mythical conceptions linked 
with the fox ; a few traces have been pointed out in Reinh. ccxcvi., 3 

1 The name Weturlit is also found in the Necrolog. augiense (Mone 98 b ). 

- Ed. 1558. i, 499d : ' die wolf er im erwelen gund ('gan choose), und het sie hei 
ihm fur jagdhund.' 

3 Klaproth finds in Japanese books, that the people in Japan worship the inari 
(fox) as a tutelar god : little temples are dedicated to him in many houses, espec. 
of the commoner folk. They ask his advice in difficulties, and set rice or beans for 
him at night. If any of it is gone in the morning, they believe the fox has con- 
sumed it, and draw good omens from it ; the contrary is an unlucky sign (Nouv. 
anuales des voyages, Dec. 1833, p. 298). They take him to be a kami i.e. the soul 
of a good man deceased (ibid.) 


and the kindcrmarchen no. 38 has furnished him with nine tails, 
as Sleipnir had eight legs, and some heroes and gods four 

Freyja's car was drawn by two cats (tveim kottum), p. 305. 
Now, as fres in ON. means both he-cat and bear, it has lately 
been contended, not without reason, that kottum may have been 
substituted for fressum, and a brace of bears have been really 
meant for the goddess, as Cybele's car was drawn by lions, 
p. 254. For Puss-in-boots see pp. 503-9, and the Norweg. tale in 
Folkeeventyr no. 29. Cats and weasels pass for knowing beasts 
with magical powers, whom one has good reason to indulge, Sup. 
I, 292 (see Suppl.). 

Birds. — With birds the men of old lived on still more intimate 
terms, and their greater nimbleness seemed to bespeak more of 
the spiritual than was in quadrupeds. I will here quote some 
instances of wild fowl being fed by man. Dietmar of Merseb. 
relates of Mahtildis, Otto I.'s mother (Pertz 5, 740) : ' non solum 
pauperibus, verum etiam avibus victum subministrabat ; ' and we 
find the same in the Vita Mahtild. ^Pertz. 6, 294) : e nee etiam 
oblita est volucrum aestivo tempore in arboribus resonantium, 
praecipiens ministris sub arbores proicere micas panis.' In Nor- 
way they used to put out bunches of corn for the sparrows on 
Yule-eve : ' Jule-aften at sette trende korabaand paa stoer under 
aaben himmel ved laden og foe-huset till spurrens fode, at de 
niiste aar ikke skal giore skade (do no harm next year) paa 
ageren,' Hiorthoi Gulbrands dalen, Kb. 1785. 1, 130; it was a 
sacrifice offered to the birds, to keep them from ravaging the 
crops. It reminds one of the legacy to birds on Walther von 
der Vogelweide's tombstone, whose very name denotes ' pascua 

Gods and goddesses often change themselves into birds, but 
giants possess the same power too. The Esthonian god Tarapila 
flies from one place to another, p. 77; the Greek imagination 
pictured winged gods, the Hebrew winged angels, the Old German 
a maiden with swan's wings. The Norse gods and giants put on 
an eagle's coat, antar-Jiain,ip. 633n., the goddesses a falcon's coat, 
vals-ham, p. 302. Wind is described as a giant and eagle, p. 
033, and sacred eagles scream on the mountains : ' orn gul aria, 


arar gullo,' Ssem. 142 a 149 a . Wolfram thinks of the earth as a 
bird, when he says, Wh. 308, 27 : 

so diu erde ir gevidere rert 

nnde si der meie lert 

ir muze alsus volrecken (see Suppl.). 

Domestic fowl available for sacrifice, notably the cock and the 
goose, have but few mythic aspects that I know of. Fire is de- 
cribed as a red cock (p. 601) : H. Sachs has the phrase ' to make 
the red cock ride on one's rooftree/ and the Danes e den rode 
hane galer over taget/ the red cock ctows on the thack (the 
fire crackles). Red cocks in preference had to be brought in 
payment of ground rent (formerly perhaps in sacrifice), RA. 376. 
The Yoluspa 54 sets before us f Fialarr, fagur-rau&r hani ; singing 
in the forest ; a golden-crested cock awakes the heroes, a dark 
one crows in the nether world. In the Danish song 1, 212 there 
is meaning in the crowing of a red and a black cock one after the 
other; and another song 1, 208 adds a white cock as well. An- 
other cock in the Edda, Yi'Sofnir, perches on MioiamerSr, Sasm. 
109 a ; with him Finn Magnusen (Lex. myth. 824. 1090) would 
connect the cock they stick on the Maypole. The Wends erected 
cross-trees, but, secretly still heathen at heart, they contrived to 
fix at the very top of the pole a weathercock} In one fairy-tale, 
no. 108, HansmeinigeFs cock sits on a tree in the wood. I do not 
know when the gilded cock on the church-steeple was introduced ; 
it can hardly have been a mere weather-vane at first. Guibertus 
in Yita sua, lib. 1 cap. 22, mentions a gallus super turri, so that 
the custom prevailed in France at the beginning of the 12th 
century; in S. Germany we know it existed two centuries earlier. 
Eckehard tells of the great irruption of Hungarians : ' duo ex illis 
accendunt campanarium, cujus cacuminis gallum aureum putantes, 
deumque loci sic vocatum, non esse nisi carioris metalli materia 
fusum, lancea dum unus, ut eum revellat, se validus protendit, in 
atrium de alto cecidit et periit' (Pertz 2, 105). The Hungarians 
took this gilded cock (gallus) for the divinity of the place, and 
perhaps were confirmed in their error by the bird's name being 
the same as that of St. Gallus ; they even left the minster stand - 

1 Armalen der Churbr. Hanrtov. laude, 8 jahrg. p. 284. Some think the cock 
referred to Peter's denial. 



ing for fear of him: 'monasterio, eo quod Galhis, deus ejus, 
ignipotens sit, tandem omisso ' (ibid. 106). x Tit. 407: ' uz golde 
ein ar gercetet, gefiuret unde gefunkelfc ufjeglich leriuze gelcetet. 
True, the cock is an emblem of vigilance, and the watchman, to 
command a wide view, must be highly placed ; 2 but it is quite 
possible that the christian teachers, to humour a heathen custom 
of tying cocks to the tops of holy trees, made room for them on 
church-towers also, and merely put a more general meaning on 
the symbol afterwards (see Suppl.). 

At the head of wildfowl the eagle stands as king, and is the 
messenger of Jove. In our beast-fables the raven seems to take 
upon him the parts both of wolf and of fox, uniting the greed 
of the one with the other's cunning. Two ravens, Huginn and 
Man inn, are, like the two wolves, constant companions of OSinn 
(p. 147) ; their names express power of thought and remembrance : 
they bring him tidings of all that happens. 3 Compare the sage 
sparrow (sporr) of the Norse king Dag (Yngl. saga 21), who 
gathers news for him out of all countries, and whose death he 
avenges by an invasion. Those scouts of OSinn seem to be 
alluded to in several stories, e.g., Olaf Tryggv. cap. 28, where 
screaming ravens testify that OSinn accepts the offering pre- 
sented ; and in Nialss. 119 two ravens attend a traveller all day. 
In like manner St. Gregory is escorted by three flying ravens, 
Paul. Diac. 1, 26. In the beautiful myth of king Oswald, the 
raven who gets his plumage bound with gold (conf. the falcon, 
Ms. 1, 38 b ) acts an essential part : he has nothing of the fiendish 
nature afterwards imputed to this bird. It shews the same 
tendency, that where the Bible says of the raven sent out of the 
ark by Noah, simply that he e%eh.6iov ovk avearpetye (Gen. 8, 7), 

1 All very legendary ; for the Hungarian attack on the monastery of Herzfeld 
(Hirutfeld) on the Lippe is related much in the same way in the Vita S. Idae, viz. 
that having scaled the nolarius, but not succeeded in wrenching off the bills, they 
suddenly tied, aliquid ibi esse divalis numinis suspicati sunt (Pertz 2, 573). Here 
the cock does not come into play, the bells do it all. 

2 Minister's Sinnbilder der alten Christen, p. 55. As Gregory the Greaf explains 
g alius by ' praedicator ' (Opp., Paris 1705. i, 959. 961), and again speculator by the 
same ' praedicator,' he may in the following passage have had the cock in view, 
without naming him: 'speculator semper in altitudine stat, ut imidquid venturum 
sit longe prospiciat,' ibid, i, 1283. 

3 In a Slovenic fairy-tale somebody had a raven (vrdna) who was all-knowing 
(vedezh), and used to tell him everything when he came home. Murko's Sloven, 
deutsclns wtb. Gratz 1833. p. 690. 


our Teutonic poetizers must make him alight on carrion, Cgedm. 
87, 11. Diut. 3, 60. King Arthur, whom we lately met as a 
bear, is said to have been converted into a raven : ' que anda 
hasta ahora convertido en cuervo, y le esperan en su reyno por 
momentos,' Don Quixote 1, 49. In folksongs it is commonly a 
bird that goes on errands, brings intelligence of what has passed, 
and is sent out with messages : the Bohemians say ' to learn it 
of the bird' (dowedeti se po ptacku, see Suppl.). 

In our legends, birds converse together on the destinies of 
men, and foretell the future. Ravens reveal to the blind the 
means of recovering their sight, KM. no. 107. Domestic fowls 
discuss the impendiug ruin of the castle, Deut. sag. 1, 202. In 
the HelgaqvrSa, Ssem. 140-1, a wise bird (fugl froShuga'Sr) is 
introduced talking and prophesying to men, but insists on a 
tem.ple and sacrifices before he will tell them more. In one 
German story, men get to understand the language of birds by 
eating of a white snake, KM. no. 17. SigurSr understands it too, 
the moment the heart's blood of the dragon Fafnir has got from 
his finger-tips to his tongue : and then swallows (igSor) give him 
sound advice, Sasm. 190-1. To kill swallows brings misfortune : 
ace. to Sup. I, 378 it occasions four weeks' raiu ; and their nests 
on the houses no one dares knock down. From Saxo's account 
(p. 327) of the oaken statue of Rugivit, we may conclude that the 
Slavs had let swallows build on it in peace (see Suppl.). 

The mythical character of the swan is certified by the legend 
of swan-wives (p. 426) and by the bird's own death-song (see 
Suppl.). The stork too was held inviolable, he is like swallows 
a herald of spring ; his poetic name certainly reaches back to 
heathen times, but hitherto has baffled all explanation. OHG. 
glosses give odebero, Graff 3, 155, udebero, Sumerl. 12, 16, 
otivaro, odebore, Fundgr. 1, 386, odeboro, Gl. Tross; MHG. 
adebar only in Diut. 3, 453 ; MLG. edebere, Bran's Beitr. 47, 
adebar, Reinke, 1777. 2207; M. Neth. odevare, hodevare, Rein. 
2316. Clignett 191 j New Neth. oyevdr ; New LG. eber, aber, 
atjebar ; AS. and Norse have nothing similar. The ' bero, boro ' 
is bearer, but the first word, so long as the quantity of its vowel 
remains doubtful, is hard to determine ; the choice would lie 
between luck-bringer (fr. St opes) and child- bringer, which last 
fits in with the faith, still very prevalent, that the stork brings 


babies. If, beside the OS. partic. odan, AS. eaden, ON. auSinn 
(genitus), we could produce a subst. 6d, ead (proles), all would be 
straight. The prose word, OHG. storah, AS. store, ON. storhr, 
may be just as old. In Frisian superstition there occur meta- 
morphoses of storks into men, and of men into storks. A lay 
of Wolfram 5, 21 declares that storks never hurt the crops (see 

The woodpecker was held sacred by ancient peoples of Italy, 
and ranked as the bird of Mars, 'ilpeo? opvis : perched on a 
wooden pillar (eVt klovos %v\lvov) he prophesied to the Sabines 
in the grove by Matiena (or Matiera, Dion. hal. 1, 14. Reiske 
p. 40) ; he had once guided them on their way, (op/j.7)vrat ol 
TLiKevTlvoL hpvoKoXdiTTov ttjv 68bv rjyecrafievov, Strabo v, p. 240. 
And he purveyed for Romulus and Remus when the wolfs milk 
did not suffice them, Ov. Fasti 3, 37. 54 ; conf. Niebuhr 1, 245. 
Ace. to Virg. Aen. 7, 189 and Ov. Met. 14, 321 Picus was the 
son of Saturn and father of Faunus, 1 and was changed into the 
bird. The apparent relationship of this Picus to our poem of 
Beowulf (bee-hunter, i.e. woodpecker), was pointed out p. 369. 
In Norway the red-hooded blackpecker is called Gertrude's fowl, 
and a story in Asbiornsen and Moe (no. 2) explains its origin : 
When our Lord walked upon earth with Peter, they came to a 
woman that sat baking, her name was Gertrude, and she wore a 
red cap on her head. Faint and hungry from his long journey, 
our Lord asked her for a little cake. She took a little dough 
and set it on, but it rose so high that it filled the pan. She 
thought it too large for an alms, took less dough and began 
to bake it, but this grew just as big, and again she refused to 
give it. The third time she took still less dough, and when the 
cake still swelled to the same size, ' Ye must go without ' said 
Gertrude, 'all that I bake becomes too big for you.' Then 
was the Lord angry, and said: 'Since thou hast grudged to 
give me aught, thy doom is that thou be a little bird, seek thy 
scanty sustenance twixt wood and bark, and only drink as oft as 
it shall rain.' No sooner were these words spoken, than the 
woman was changed into Gertrude's fowl, and flew up the kitchen 

1 When the Swiss call the black-pecker merzajulU (March-foal, Staid. 2, 199. 
Tobler 316^), the simplest explan. is from picus martius ; yet fiilli may be for vogeli, 
and so March-fowl or Martin's fowl; see more in Chap. XXXV., Path-crossing. 


chimney. And to this day we see her in her red cap, and the 
rest of her body black, for the soot of the chimney blackened 
her ; continually she hacks into the bark of trees for food, and 
pipes before rain, because, being always thirsty, she then hopes 
to drink. 1 The green-pecker has the alias giessvogel, Austr. 
gissvogel (Stelzhamer's Lieder pp. 19. 177), goissvogel (Hofer 1, 
306), Low G. giitvogel, gietvogel, giltfugel (Ehrentr. 1. 345), Engl. 
rainbird, rainfowl, because his cry of ' geuss, giess, giet' (pour !) 
is said to augur a downpour of rain. About him there goes a 
notable story : When the Lord God at the creation of the woi'ld 
ordered the beasts to dig a great well (or pond), this bird 
abstained from all work, for fear of soiling his handsome plumage 
(or yellow legs). Then God ordained that to all eternity he 
should drink out of no well (pond) ; therefore we always see him 
sip laboriously out of hollow stones or cart-ruts where rainwater 
has collected. But when no rain has fallen and there is drought, 
he is sore athirst, and we hear unceasingly his pain-stricken 
' giet ! ' And the good Lord takes pity, and pours down rain 
(Reusch in Preuss. provinz. bl. 26, 536; from Samland). Fahl- 
mann in the Dorpater verhandl. 1, 42 gives an Esthonian myth : 
God was having the Em-bach (-beck, -brook, p. 599n.) dug, and 
set all the beasts to work ; but the Whitsun-fowl idly flew from 
bough to bough, piping his song. Then the Lord asked him : 
'hast thou nought to do but to spruce thyself?' The bird 
replied, ' the work is dirty, I can't afford to spoil my golden- 
yellow coat and silvery hose.' 'Thou foolish fop/ the Lord 
exclaimed, f from henceforth thou shalt wear black hose, and 
never slake thy thirst at the brook, but pick the raindrops off the 
leaves, and only then strike up thy song when other creatures 

creep away from the coming storm/ Now that Norwegian 

Gertrude's fowl, whose thirsty piping brings on rain, is evidently 
identical, and very likely another story explains the rainbird as 
the metamorphosis of a vain idle person. Sometimes it is not 
the woodpecker at all that is meant by giessvogel, giesser, wasser- 
vogel, pfingstvogel, regenpfeifer, but a snipe (Hofer 1, 306. 341), 
whose cry likewise forebodes a storm (p. 184), or the curlew 
(numenius arquata), Fr. pluvier (pluviarius), Boh. Jcoliha, Pol. 

1 Eytchko\'s Jouru. thro' the Euss. Emp., trsl. by Hase, Biga 1774. p. 124. 


kulig, hullihj LG. regemvolp, ivaterwolp (Brem. wtb. 5,286). In 
our owu beast-fables the woodpecker is left without any part 
to play, only in an altogether isolated episode he is introduced 
conversing with the wolf (Reinh. 419). The Votiaks pay divine 
honours to the tree-tapping woodpecker, to induce him to spare 
their woods. 1 The cry of this woodpecker (zhunia) the Servians 
call klikchi, kliknuti, kliktati, as they do that of the vila [p. 436, 
but there wrongly asci'ibed to the tapping noise]. Wood- 
peckers by their tapping shew the way to the river (Lay of Igor 
70) ; the old legend of the woodpecker and springwurzel will be 

examined in Chap. XXXII (see Suppl.) . A near neighbour of 

the pecker (picus) is the pie, magpie (pica). In ON. her name is 
skadi (masc., says Biorn), Swed. shata, Dan. shade, which may 
be referred to the abstract notion of damnum, OHGr. scado ; at 
the beginning of the Volsunga saga there occurs a man's name 
Skadi, which Finn Magn. (Lex. 699) declares to be the goddess 
Skaffi. In Flemish beast-legend the magpie was ' ver Ave/ frau 
Ave. In Poitou there still lingers a trace of pie-worship ; viz. 
a bunch of heath and laurel is tied to the top of a high tree in 
honour of the magpie, because her chatter warns the people of the 
wolf's approach : ' porter la crepe (pancake) a la pie/ Mem. des 
antiq. 8, 451. 

In Old Bohemian songs the sparrowhawlc (krahui, krahug) is a 
sacred bird, and is harboured in a grove of the gods (Koniginh. 
MS. 72. 80. 160). On the boughs of an oak that springs out of 
a murdered man's grave, holy sparrowhawks perch, and publish 
the foul deed (see Suppl.). 

There is no bird to which the gift of prophecy is more univer- 
sally conceded than the cuckoo, 2 whose clear and measured voice 
rings in the young foliage of the grove. The Old German law 
designates spring by the set phrase ' wann der gauch guket ' (RA. 
36), as in Hesiod's rules of husbandry the cuckoo's song marks 
the growing rains of spring. Two old poems describe the quarrel 
of Spring and Winter about the cuckoo, and the shepherds' 
lamentation for him : Spring praises the bird, ' tarda hiems ' 

1 Carniol. zuna, Pol. Boh. zluwa, Boh. also wlha, wolga. 

2 Goth, giiuks ? OHG. gouh (Hoffni. 5, G), AS. geac, ON. gaukr ; MHG. gouch, 
MS. 2, L32b, alBO reduplicated (like ououlus) gucgouch, MS. 1, 132 J , guggouch, MS. 
1, 1GG' ; our gukuk, kukuk, Op.G. guggauch, gutzgouch. 


chides him, shepherds declare that he is drowned or kidnapped. 
There is a remarkable line : 

Teinpus adest veris ; cucidus, modo rurupe soporem. 1 

His notes usher in the sweetest season of the year, but his telling 
men their fortunes is not alluded to. The Cod. Exon. 146, 27 
also makes him publish or ' bid ' the year : ' gedcas gear budon/ 
cuculi annum nuntiavere. But the superstition is not yet extinct, 
that the first time you hear the cuckoo in the spring, you can 
learn of him how many years you have yet to live (Sup. I, 197. 
K, Swed. 119. Dan. 128. 146). In Switzerland the children 
call out : ' gurjger, wie lang leb ino?' and in Lower Saxony : 

huhuh vam haven, 

wo lange sail ik leven ? 

then you must listen, and count how many times the bird repeats 
his own name after your question, and that is the number of 
years left you to live (Schutze's Hoist, idiot. 2, 363} . In some 
districts 2 the rhyme runs : 

kukuk beckenknecht, 

sag mir recht, 

wie viel jar ich leben soil ? 3 

The story is, that the'bird was a baker's (or miller's) man, and 
that is why he wears a dingy meal-sprinkled coat. In a dear 
season he robbed the poor of their flour, and when God was 
blessing the dough in the oven, he would take it out, and pull 
lumps out of it, crying every time ' guk-guk/ look-look ; there- 
fore the Lord punished him by changing him into a bird of prey, 

1 Both eclogues in Domavii Ampbith. 456-7, where they are attrib. to Beda ; 
ditto in Leyser p. 207, who says they were first printed in the Frankf. ed. (1610) of 
Ovid's Amatoria, p. 190. Meanwhile Oudin (De script, eccles. 2, 327-8, ed. Lips. 
1722) gives the Confiictus veris et hiemis under the name of ' Milo, sancti Aniandi 
elnonensis monachus ' (first half of 9th century) ; and the second poem De morte 
cuculi stands in Mabillon's Anal. 1, 369 as 'Alcuini versus de cuculo.' Anyhow tbey 
fall into tbe 8th or 9th century ; in shortening the penultima of ' cuculus ' they 
agree with Eeinardus 3, 528. Hoffm, Horae belg. 6, 236 has also revived the 

2 Aegid. Albertini narrenbatz, Augsb. 1617. p. 95 : ' Even as befel that old wife, 
which asked a guguck how many year she had yet to live, and the guguck beginning 
five times to sing, she supposed that she had five year more to live, etc' From 
' Schimpf und ernst ' c. 391. 

3 So in Mod. Greek : kovko /jlov, koukclki. /xov, ki apyvpoKovK&Ki p.ov, ttoctovs XP^ V0VS 
8t va {yaw ; 

cuckoo. 677 

which incessantly repeats that cry (conf. Praetorius's Weltbeschr. 
1, 656. 2, 491). No doubt the story, which seems very ancient, 
and resembles that of the woodpecker (p. 673), was once told 
very differently; conf. Chap. XXII., Pleiades. That ' dear 
season ' may have to do with the belief that when the cuckoo's 
call continues to be heard after Midsummer, it betokens dearth 
(Sup. I, 228). 

In Sweden he tells maidens how many years they will remain 
unmarried : 

gok, gok, sitt pa, quist (on bough), 

sag mig vist (tell me truej, 

hur manga ar (how many years) 

jag o-gift gar (I shall un-given go) ? 

If he calls more than ten times, they declare he has got ' pa galen 
quist' (on the silly bough, i.e. bewitched), and give no heed to 
his prophecies. And then a good deal depends on the quarter 
whence you hear your cuckoo first. You must pay strict atten- 
tion in spring ; if you hear him from the north (the unlucky 
quarter), you will see sorrow that year, from east or west his 
call betokens luck, and from the south he is the proclaimer of 
butter : ' ostergok ar trostegok, vestergok ar bastagok, norrgok or 
sorggok, sorguk ar smorgok. 1 

In Goethe's Oracle of Spring the prophetic bird informs a 
loving pair of their approaching marriage and the number of 
their children. 

It is rather surprising that our song- writers of the 13th cen- 
tury never bring in the cuckoo as a soothsayer; no doubt the 
fact or fancy was familiar to all, for even in the Renner 11340 wo 

read : 

daz weiz der gouch, der im fur war 

hat gegutzet hundert jar. 

Caesarius heisterbac. 5, 17: 'Narravit nobis anno praeterito 
(? 1221) Theobaldus abbas eberbacensis, quod quidani couversus, 
cum nescio quo tenderet, et avem, quae cuculus dicitur a voce 
nomen habens, crebrius cant ant cm audiret, vices interruptions 
nuuieravit, et vigiuti duas inveniens, easque quasi pro online 

1 Arndt's Iteise durch Schw. 4, 5 — 7. The snipe is in Swed. /( rrsgjdk, ON. 
hrossayaukr (horse-cuckoo), and she too has the gift of divination, p. 184. 


accipiens, pro annis totidem vices easdem sibi computavit : c eia,' 
inquit, ' certe viginti duobus annis adhuc vivam, ut quid tanto 
tempore mortificein me in ordine ? redibo ad seculum, et seculo 
deditus viginti annis f ruar deliciis ejus ; duobus annis qui super- 
sunt pcenitebo.'' — In the Couronnemens Renart, the fox hears the 
bird's voice, and propounds to him the query : 

A cest mot Renart le cucu 

entent, si jeta un faus ris, 

' jou te conjur ' fait il, f de cris, 
215 cucus, que me dies le voir (truth), 

quans ans jai a vivre ? savoir 

le veil.' Cucu, en preu cucu/ 

et deus cucu, et trois cucu, 

quatre cucu, et cine cucu, 
220 et sis cucu, et set cucu, 

et uit cucu, et nuef cucu, 

et dis cucu, onze cucu, 

duze cucu, treize cucu. 

Atant se taist, que plus ne fu 
225 li oisiaus illuec, ains s'envolle. 

Renart carries the joyful news to his wife, that the bird has 
promised him yet ' treize ans d'ae ' (see Suppl.). 

Is it the cuckoo that is meant by ' timebird ' in Ms. 1, 88 a : ( cliu 
vroide vlogzet (joy flies) gelich dem zitvogel in dem neste ' ? 
What makes me think so is a passage in Pliny, which anyhow is 
pertinent here, exhorting the husbandman at the aequinoctium 
vernum to fetch up all arrears of work : e dum sciat inde natam 
exprobrationem foedam putantium vites per imitationem cant us 
alitis temporarii, quern cuculum vocant. Dedecus enim habetur 
opprobriumque meritum, falcem ab ilia volucre deprehendi, ut ob 
id petulantiae sales etiam cum primo vere ludantur/ 

Delight at the first song of the cuckoo is thus expressed in a 
Swiss couplet (Tobler 245 b ) : 

wenn der gugger chond gegugga ond 's merzafoli lacht, 
denn wott i gad goh lo, 'swit i koh mocht ; 

1 A line seems wanting here, to tell us that Cuckoo, like a sensible cuckoo (en 
preu cucu, fugl fr&3huga'$r) ) ' began to sing, One cucu.' 

cuckoo. 679 

they imagine that he never sings before the 3rd of April, and 
never after Midsummer : 

am drefcta Abarella 

moss der gugger griiena haber schnella ; 

but he cannot sing till he has eaten a bird's egg. If you have 
money in your pouch when you hear him sing the first time, you 
will be well off all that year, if not, you will be short the whole 
year (Sup. I, 374) ; and if you were fasting, you will be hungry 
all the year. When the cuckoo has eaten his fill of cherries three 
times, he leaves off singing. As the cuckoo's song falls silent at 
Midsummer, vulgar opinion holds that from that time he turns 
into a hawk. Reusch, N. pr. prov. bl. 5, 338-9. 

The Poles call the bird zezula, the Bohemians 'ezhule (both 
fern.). The 0. Pol. chronicle of Prokosz, 1 p. 113 of the Lat. ed., 
has a remarkable account of the worship of a Slavic god Zyvie : 
1 divinitati Zywie fanum exstructum erat in monte ab ejusdem 
nomine Zywiec dicto, ubi primis diebus mensis Maji innumerus 
populus pie conveniens precabatur ab ea, quae vitae 2 auctorhabe- 
batur, longam et prosperam valetudinem. Praecipue tamen ei 
litabatur ab iis qui primum cantum cucidi audivissent, ominantes 
superstitiose tot annos se victuros quoties vocem repetiisset. Opin- 
abantur enim supremum hunc universi moderatorem transfigurari 
in cuculwm ut ipsis annuntiaret vitae tempora : unde crimini 
ducebatur, capitalique poena a magistratibus afficiebatur, qui 
cuculum occidisset.' Here the oracular bird is a god in meta- 
morpltosis, just as that Saxon rhyme called him 'kukuk vam 

To the Servian haiduks it betokens evil when the hulcavitsa 
comes too soon, and cries out of the black (leafless) forest ; and 
good luck when it sings from the green wood, Vuk sub v. 

In the Eddie Grotta-song the quern-maids are only allowed to 
rest and sleep while the cuckoo is silent (enn gaukrinn ]?ag<Si). 

The cuckoo can prophesy both good and ill ; in dealing with 
him (as with other birds of enchantment, owls, magpies) you 

1 Kronika polska przez Prodosza, Warsz. 1825, and in Latin ' Chronicon 
Slavosarmaticum Procosii,' -Varsav. 1827 ; professedly of the 10th cent. It is not 
so old as that, yet Dobrowsky (Wien. jahrb. 32, 77—80) goes too far in pronouncing 
it a pure fabrication ; it is at any rate founded on old traditions. 

• zy wy, alive ; zywie, to sustain life, nourish. 

II. R 


have to weigh your words and questions, so as not to get en- 
snared (Arndt's Sweden 3, 18). To kill him without cause is 
dangerous, his followers might avenge it. He has power to teaze 
men, to delude them, what Swedish superstition calls dara, and 
Danish gante. A MHG. poem (Fragm. 38 b ) has : 'peterlin und 
louch hat begucket mit der gouch.' Often his appearing is of evil 
omen. Paulus Diac. 6, 55 says of Hildeprand king of the Lom- 
bards : ' cui dum contum, sicut moris est, traderent, in ejus conti 
summitate cuculus avis volitando veniens insedit. Tunc aliquibus 
prudentibus hoc portento visum est signincari, ejus principatum 
inutilem fore' (see Suppl.). 

As that all-nourishing life-divinity of the Slavs took the shape 
of the cuckoo, so does the Grecian Zeus transform himself into 
the bird, when he first approaches Hera. A seated figure of the 
goddess shews a cuckoo on her staff, and a bas-relief representing 
the wedding procession of Zeus and Hera has a cuckoo perched on 
Zeus's sceptre (as on that of the Lombard king) ; l so that this 
bird has got mixed up with the most sacred of all weddings, 
and we understand why he promises marriage and the fruit of 
wedlock. Then, the mountain on which Zeus and Hera came 
together, previously called Qp6va% (from Opovos, seat of the 
Thunderer? supra p. 183) or @opva%, received after that the 
name of 6po<s kokkvjlov (Pausanias ii. 36, 2). Well, and we have 
gowk's-hills in Germany : a Gauchsberg near Kreuznach (Widder's 
Pfalz 4, 36), others near Durlach and Weinsberg (Mone's Anz. 6, 
350), a Guggisberg in Switzerland (Joh. Miiller, 1, 347. 2, 82. 
Tschachtlan p. 2), Gockerliberg (KM. no. 95); the name might 
be accounted for very naturally by the song of the bird being 
heard from the hill, but that other traditions also are mixed up 
with it. In Freidank 82, 8 (and almost the same in Bonerius 65, 

wisiu wort unt tumbiu were 

diu habent die von Gouchesberc. 

Here the men of Gauchsberg are shown up as talking wisely and 
acting foolishly ; Gauchsberg is equivalent to Narrenberg (fool's 

1 Welcker on Schwenk 269. 270 ; usually an eagle sits there. The figures of 
eagle and cuckoo are not always easy to distinguish ; but to this day the Bavarians 
by way of jest call the Prussian eagle ' gukezer,' Schm. 2, 27. 

cuckoo. 681 

mount). 1 As far back as the 10th cent, gouh has the side-mean- 
ing of fool (N. ps. 48, 11. 93, 8. urkeizkouh, war-fool, N. Bth. 
175); the same everywhere in the loth (Walth. 22, 31. Trist. 
8631. 18215), though commonly with a qualifying adj. or gen. 
pi. : ich tumber gouch, MS. 1, 65 a . tumber denn ein gouch, Troj. 
81 20. tumber gouch, Barl. 319, 25. gouch unwise 228, 32. sin- 
neloser gouch, 319, 38. der treit gouches houbet (wears a gowk's 
head), MsH. 3, 468 g . rehter witze ein gouch, MS. 2, 124 b . der 
mgere ein goichelin (dim.), and gouchgouolt (augm.), Ben. 209. 
The ON. gaukr is likewise arrogans morio. Hans Sachs occa- 
sionally uses Gauchberg 2 in the same sense, ii. 4, 110' 1 (Kempten 
ii. 4, 220 a ), extr. from Goz 1, 52. Yet originally in Gauchsberg 
the bird himself may very well have been meant in a mystic sense 
which Las fallen dark to us now (see Suppl.). 3 

In other ways too the cuckoo stands in ill repute, he passes 
for an adulterer, who lays his eggs in other people's nests ; hence 
the Romans used cuculus in the sense of moechus (Plauti Asinaria, 
twice in last scene), and our gouch, gouchelhi formerly meant 
bastard (Nib. 810, 1. Aw. 1, 46), as the Swiss gugsch still 
means an unbidden rival suitor. He even comes out as a fiendish 
being, or the fiend himself, in phrases everywhere known from of 
old : ' cuckoo knows, cuckoo take him, cuckoo sent him here ' 
and the like, in all of which the devil's name might be substi- 
tuted without change of meaning. This seems to me to point 
to old heathen traditions, to which the diabolic tinge was added 
only by degrees; and among these I reckon the Low Saxon 
formula l the cuckoo and his clerk (or sexton) ' ! by which clerk is 
meant the hoopoo (Brem. wtb. 2, 858), a bird that is likewise 
thought to have received his form by metamorphosis. I cannot 
trace the story of the cuckoo and hoopoo any further; does the 

1 Hence we find, as substitutes for it, Affenbcrc (Docen's Misc. 2, 187) ; Aff'en- 
berc and Narrental, MsH. 3, 200 b ; Afferdal, ibid. 213*. Wmsbeke 45,7. Renner 
1G4G9 ; Apenberg and Narrenberg in the Plattd. ' Narragonia ' 77 b . 137 b ; Esalsberc, 
Diut. 2, 77. Animals whose stupidity was proverbial of old, are the ox, ass, ape, 
goat, goose, gowk and jay : vi"S osvinna apa, Srein. 25 b . atrunnr apa 55 a . Notk. ps. 
57, 11 lias ruoh (stultus), i.e. hruoh, AS. hroc (graculus, Granim. 3, 361). 

3 Much oftener Scltalksberg (rogue's hill) in the phrase 'in den schalksperg 
hawcn (hew) ' i. 5, 521". hi. 3, 28 d . 54 b . iv. 3, 20 d . 3K 40* ; the reason of which 1 
do not know. ' Schalksberg wine grows in Franconia.' ' Henricus dictus de Scalkes- 
bergh,' Spilker 2, 148 (an. 1208). 

3 Those who crave other explanations, will find plenty in Mone's Anz. 6, 350 
eeq. ' Gouchsberg is Caucasus, as Elberich is the spirit of Elburj, diabolus the 
Persic div,' and so forth. 


one sing- to the other ? [his note ' ooboo ' is like an echo of 
' cuckoo']. Dobel i. 1, 68 calls the hoopoo the cuckoo's lackey, 
because he comes with him in spring and goes with him in 
autumn (see Suppl.). The peewit has the same things said of 

The froth on willows, caused by the cicada spumaria, we call 
kulcuJcs-speichel, Swiss guggerspeu, Engl, cuckoo-spit, -spittle, Dan. 
giogespyt, but in some places witch's spittle, Norweg. trold- 
kiaringspye r 1 another proof of the bird's connexion with preter- 
natural things, and reminding us of the bird-spittle (fugls hraki) 
which in Sn. 34 goes to make up the band Gleipnir. Several 
names of plants assure us of his mythic nature. Sorrel : OHG. 
g ouch esampf era, Swiss guggersauer, AS. gedcessure, Dan. gioge- 
mad, giogesyre, it being supposed that he loved to eat it ; our 
kukuksbrot, gauchlauch, Fr. pain de coucou, panis cuculi. Cuckoo- 
flower : kukuksblume, gauchblume, flos cuculi. Pimpernel : gauch- 
lieil, etc., guckgauchdorn, Fischart's Geschichtskl. 269 a . 

The Slavs all make this bird feminine, and see nothing- bad, 
nothing fiendish in it : zezhidice sits on the oak, and bewails the 
passing away of spring, Koniginh. MS. 174. The Servian kuka- 
vitsa was once a maiden, who wept her brother's death till she 
was changed into the bird ; ' sinia (gray) kukavitsa,' Yuk 3, 66 ; 
three women turned into kukavitsas, Vuk 1, no. 321. In songs 
of Lit. Russia still a moping melancholy bird ; and in Russian 
folktales we have again a young girl changed into a cuckoo by an 
enchantress (Gotze's Serb, lieder, p. 212). 

Of small birds, the swallow has been mentioned, p. 672. 
1 Frau nacldigall ' is often named by our minnesingers ; but the 
myth, that her children are born dead and she sings them alive, 
seems not of German origin. The lark and galander (crested 
lark) must have been actors in the animal legend oftener than we 
are now aware of; there are still beautiful stories of the zaunkonig 
(hedgeking, wren), AS. wrenna. But I have yet to speak of two 
little birds, which appear to have been peculiarly sacred in olden 
times : redbreast and titmouse. 

Robin redbreast is on no account to have his nest disturbed, or 
the house will be struck with lightning : it is the redstart's nest 

1 Summer-freckles in Bavar. gugl-er-scheglccn, cuckoo-spots, Schm. 2, 27; conf. 
Hofer 1, 337. 


that draws down the flash. The latter the Swiss call husrotKeli 
(house-redling) ; if you tease him or take him out, your cows 
will give red milk (Tobler 281). Were these birds sacred to 
Douar the red-bearded ? And has that to do with the colour of 
their throat and tail ? They sa} 7- the redbreast drops leaves and 
flowers on the face of a murdered man [or ' babe '] Avhom he 
finds in the wood ; did he do this in the service of a god, who 
therefore would not suffer him to be molested ? 

The tiny titmouse, 1 whom he called gossip, was able to outwit 
even Reynard himself. The weisthumer tell us in what estima- 
tion this little forest bird was held, by setting the severest penal- 
ties on his capture : l item, si quis sibilando vel alio modo volu- 
crem ilium ceperit, qui vulgo meise nuncupatur, banni reus erit/ 
Jura archiep. trever., in Lacombl. arch. 326. ' si quis auceps 
hanc silvam intraverit, pro nullo genere volucrum componet, nisi 
capiat meisam que dicitur banmeisa, et pro ilia componat 60 sol. 
tanquam pro cervo/ ibid. 367. ' wer da fehet ein bermeisen, der 
sal geben ein koppechte hennen und zwelf hunkeln, und sechzig 
schilling pfenning und einen helbeling/ Dreieicher wildbann 
(Weisth. 1, 499). ' wer eine holmeise fienge mit limen ader mit 
slagegarn, der sal unserme herrn geben eine falbe henne mit sie- 
ben hiiukeln/ Rheingauer w. 1, 535. ' wer ein sterzmeise fahet, 
der ist umb leib u. guet, und in unsers herrn ungnad/ Creuz- 
nacher w. 2, 153. — The reason of these laws is hidden from us; 
plainly the bird was held sacred and inviolable. And it is per- 
fectly in tune with this, that at the present moment the Lettons, 
who call the bird sihle, 2 regard it as prophetic and auspicious, 
and even call a soothsayer sildneeks. 3 Also the Spanish name for 
the titmouse, rid (lord), or rid paxaro (lord sparrow), is worth 
considering. Titmouse, wreu and woodpecker (bee-wolf) are 
confounded in popular belief; what is meant is the tiniest 
prettiest bird (see Suppl.). 

1 Meise, OHG. meisa, AS., Nethl. meze, Fr. mesange, O.Fr. mesenge. 

- Lith. iyle, zvlele ; Pol. sikora, Boh. sykora, Buss, zi'nika, sinftsa, Slov. 
senitsa, Serv. sienitsa. The Lettic name maybe dei-ivable from sinnaht, the Lith. 
from zynoti (scire), so that the full form would be ainnele, /!ynle, the sage knowing 
bird? Tbe jay also is in Lettic sihls. To the Swed. Lapps taitne signifies not 
only wood-pecker, but superstitious diviimt ion; tayetet is to understand. In view 
of that, our speckt (woodpecker) seems to belong to a lost root spihan, spah, spahun, 
whence also spehon (explorare), and spahi (sapiens, prudens). 

3 Mag. der lett. lit. gesellsch., Mitau 1838. 0, 151. 


Beptiles. — Snakes, by the beauty of their shape and the terror 
of their bite, seem above all animals to command awe and rever- 
ence. A great many stories tell of an exchange of form between 
men and snakes : an almost infallible sign of their having been 
worshipped. Beings that had passed out .of human into animal 
shapes, and were able to return into the former at need, these 
heathenism was inclined to regard as sacred ; it worshipped kind 
beneficent snakes, whilst in christian opinion the notion of snakes 
being malignant and diabolic predominates. 

The same Vita Barbati, which we had to thank for information 
on the tree-cultus of the Lombards (p. 649), tells us likewise of 
a worship of snakes : e His vero diebus, quamvis sacra baptis- 
matis unda Langobardi abluerentur, tamen priscum gentilitatis 
ritum tenentes, sive bestiali mente degebant, bestiae simulachro, 
quae vulgo vipera nomm&tur, fled eb ant colla, quae debite suo de- 
bebant flectere Creatori. . . . Praeterea Romuald ejusque 
sodales, prisco coecati errore, palam se solum Deum colere fate- 
bantur, et in abditis viperae simulachrum ad suam perniciem 
adorabant.' During the king's absence, Barbatus beseeches his 
consort Theodorada to procure for him that image of the snake. 
' Illaque respondit : Si hoc perpetravero, pater, veraciter scio me 
morituram.' He perseveres and at last persuades her ; as soon 
as the image is in his hands, he melts it down, and delivers the 
metal to goldsmiths to make out of it a plate and a chalice. 1 
Out of these golden vessels the christian sacrament is adminis- 
tered to the king on his return, and then Barbatus confesses that 
the holy utensils were made by melting down the idol. ' Repente 
unus ex circumstantibus ait : Si mea uxor talia perpetrasset, nullo 
interposito momento abscinderem caput ejus.' A passage in the 
other Vita also is pertinent here : ' Quinetiam viperam auri 
metallo formatam summi pro magnitudine dei supplici devotione 
venerari videbantur. Unde usque hodie, sicut pro voto arboris 
Votum, ita et locus ille Census, devotiones 2 ubi viperae redde- 
bantur dignoscitur appellari.' About ' votum ' I expressed my 
mind, p. 650n. ; ' census ' signifies the Goth, gild, gilstr, OHGr. 
kelt, Tcelstar (p. 38-9 and RA. 358). The two words votum and 

1 As the gold of the swan-rings was made into pots, and what remained over 
was the goldsmith's profit. 

2 Printed text : locus ille census devotionis, ubi viperae reddebantur. 

SNAKE. 685 

census are no slight testimony to the genuineness and oldness of 

the biography. Here then we have a striking instance of an 

idol made of gold, and moreover of the christian teacher's en- 
deavour to preserve the sacred material, only converting it into a 
christian form. What higher being the snake represented to the 
Lombards, we can scarcely say for certain ; not the all-encircling 
world-snake, the miSgarSs-ormr, iormungandr of Norse myth- 
ology, for there is not a hint that even in the North, let alone 
elsewhere, he was visibly represented and worshipped. Ofnir 
and Svafnir are ON. names of snakes, and side-names of OSinn 
(conf. p. 144) ; is it Wuotan that we are to understand by the 
' summus deus ' of the Lombards ? l But the special character- 
istics of their snake-worship are entirely lost to us. If the term 
vipera was deliberately chosen, as I have no doubt it was, it can 
only mean one of the smaller kinds of snake (coluber berus), 
OHG. natara, AS. ncecbre, ON. nadra (also masc. naSr, like Goth, 
nadrs), though the simulacrum, of whose gold a plate and chalice 
could be made, bespeaks a considerable size. 

Lombard legend has more to tell us of snakes, and those 
expressly small ones. The Heldenbuch describes the combat of 
a small fire-spitting beast on the Gartensee (L. di Garda) with 
Wolfdietrich and a lion, to both of whom it gives enough to do : 

Nun horent durch ein wunder, wie das tierlein ist genant : 
es heisst zn welsch ein zunder, zu teutsch ein saHbant, 
in Sittenland nach eren ist es ein vipper genant ; 

and it is added, that there are but two such vipers alive at once, 
for the young ones soon after birth eat up their pai-ents. This 
agrees closely with the statements in the Physiologus (Diut. 3, 
29, 30. Hoffni. fundgr. 28). I cannot explain zunder from any 
Italian dialect ; saribant is the MHG. servant, Trist. 8994. Sit- 
tenland I take to be the canton Valais, from its capital Sitten 
(Sion) ; there the Romance vipera might easily remain in use 
(Grisons vipra, vivra). In the Jura a never-dying winged snake 
with a diamond ■eye is called vouivre, Mem. des antiq. G, 217. In 
Switzerland this snake in called stollenwurm (Wyss's Reise ins 
Beimer Oberland, p. 422), and in Salzburg Lirgstutze, Schin. 1, 
196 (seeSuppl.). 

1 ' Summi pro magn. Dei' may possibly mean 'instead of (worshipping) the 
majesty of the Most High.' — Trans. 


Plenty of old tales are still told of home-snakes and unices. 1 
On meadows and pastures, and even in houses, snakes come to 
children when alone, sip milk with them out of their bowl, wear 
golden crowns, which in drinking they take off from their heads 
and set on the ground, and often forget and leave them ; they 
watch infants in the cradle, and to bigger children they shew 
treasures : to kill them is unlucky. Every village has its own 
snakes to tell of. So goes the story in Swabia. Some Hessian 
stories are collected under Kinderm. no. 105, and one from 
Austria in Ziska's Volksmiirchen (Vienna 1822, p. 51) ; nearly all 
bring in the milk-drinking 2 and the golden crown. If the parents 
surprise the snake with the child, and kill it, the child begins to 
fall away, and dies before long (Temme's Pomm. sagen no. 257). 
Once, when a woman lay asleep, a snake crept into her open 
mouth, and when she gave birth to a child, the snake lay tightly 
coiled round its neck, and could only be got away by a milk- 
bath ; but it never left the baby's side, it lay in bed with it, and 
ate out of its bowl, without doing it any harm (Mone's Anz. 8, 
530). Then other accounts speak of a multitude of snakes filling 
house and yard, whose king was distinguished by a glittering 
crown on his head. When he left the yard, all the rest would 
accompany him ; in the stable where he lived, they swarmed so 
plentifully, that the maids feeding the cattle would take them 
out of the crib by armful s. They were friendly to the cattle 
and the people ; but a new farmer shot their king, and they all 
departed, and with them vanished wealth and prosperity from 
the estate (ibid. 6, 174). 3 Here also comes in the queen of snakes 
(Deut. sagen no. 220), and a remarkable story in the Gesta Eo- 
manorum (Keller p. 152). To a dairymaid at Immeneich there 
came a great snake into the cowshed every morning and evening 
at milking-time, and wore a great crown on its head. The girl 

1 MHG. vnk, gen. unkes, MS. 2, 209 b . 206 a : ' from copper one divideth gold 
with an mike's ashes'; hence an alchymist was called unken-brenner (Felix 
Malleolus de nobilitate et rusticitate, cap. 30). By unhe is properly meant the 
rana portentosa (bull-frog ?), but often snake or reptile in general. Like the 
weasel, it is called caressingly ' miimelein, miiemal,' aunty. Schm. 2, 576. 

2 Down to the recurring formula : ' ding, iss aucb brocken ! ' (thing, eat crumbs 
too) ; ' friss auch mocken, nicht lauter schlappes ! ' (not only slops) Mone's Anz. 
8, 530 ; ' friss auch brocken, nicht lauter bruhe ! ' ibid. 6, 175. 

3 A similar story of the king of snakes from Liibbenau in the Spreewald of 
Lausitz (Busching's Woch. nachr. 3, 342) in Reusch no. 74. 

SNAKE. 687 

everytime gave it warm cow's milk to suji. She suddenly left the 
place in a tiff, and when the new maid went for the first time to 
milk, there lay the golden crown on the milking-stool, with the 
inscription: ' a token of gratitude/ She brought the crown to 
her master, who gave it to the girl it was intended for; but from 
that time the snake was never seen again (Moneys Anz. 8, 537). 
The adder's crown (atternkronlein) makes any one that wears it 
invisible (Schui. 2, 388) and immensely rich as well. In some 
districts they say every house has two snakes, a male and a 
female, but they never shew themselves till the master or mistress 
of the house dies, and then they undergo the same fate. This 
feature, and some others, such as the offering of milk, bring the 
home-snakes near to the notion of good helpful home-sprites (see 

The snake then comes before us as a beneficent inviolable 
creature, perfectly adapted for heathen worship.. A serpent 
twined round the staff of Asklepios, and serpents lay beside 
healing fountains (p. 588n.). The ancient Prussians maintained a 
large snake for their Potrimpos, and the priests guarded it with 
care ; it lay under ears of corn, and was nourished with milk. 1 
The Lettons call snakes milk-mothers (peena mahtes) ; they were 
under the protection of one of the higher goddesses named 
Brehkina (crier), who cried out to all that entered to leave her 
1 peena mantes' unmolested in the house (Mag. der lett. gesellsch. 
6, 144). There is milk set for them in pots. The Lithuanians 
also revered snakes, harboured them in their houses,, and offered 
them sacrifices. 2 Egyptian snake-worship was witnessed by 
Herodotus 2, 74. ' Nullus locus sine genio, qui per anguem 
plerumque ostenditur/ Serv. ad Aen. 5, 95. 

Snakes were devised as a charm in swords and en helmets 
(Ssem. 142 b ) : 

liggr me'S eggjo ormr dreyftiiSr, 
enn a valbosto verpr naffr hala. 

The ormr or yrmlingr was supposed to run from the sword's hilt 

1 Voigt's Geschichte Preussens 1, 584. 

2 Seb. Frank's Weltbuch 55?. Mone's Heidenth. 1, 98. Adam. brem. de situ 
Daniae, cap. 24, of tbe Litbuaniaris : ' dracones adorant cum volucribus, quibus 
etiain vivos litant homines, quos a mercatoribus emunt, diligenter omnino probatos 
ne maculam in corpore habeant.' 


(helz, liialt) to the point and back again (Kormakss. p. 82-4. 
Vilk. s. p. 101). Vitege had the epithet ' mit dem slangen' be- 
cause of his helmet's crest (Heldensage p. 148). They imparted 
strength to a helmet, and force to the blade of a sword. It 
seems much the same thing, when waggoners plait adder's- 
tongues into their whips, Sup. I, 174 (see Suppl.). 

The snake crawls or wriggles along the ground; when 
provided with wings, it is called draclie, a non-German word 
coming from the Lat. draco, Gr. Spd/ccov, and introduced very 
early, OHG. tracche, AS. draca, ON. dreki. The Elder (or 
Ssemund's) Edda has dreki only once, in the latish Solarl. 127 b ; 
elsewhere it is ormr, AS. wi/rm, OHG. wurm, Goth, vaurms, which 
in a wider sense includes the snake also. The one encountered 
by Beowulf comes before us emphatically as a winged snake 
(serpens alatus) ; 'nihtes fleoge^ ' 4541, by night he flies, and 
hence is called uhtscead'a 4536 (nocturnus hostis, aggressor), and 
lyftsceacFa (aereus hostis), Cod. exon. 329, 24. Also the dragon 
that keeps Krimhild prisoner on the Drachenstein comes riding 
through the air, or flying. But the one that young Siegfried had 
previously killed, when sent out by tlie smith, lay beside a linde 
(lime-tree), and did not fly : this is the Fdfnir of the Edda, a man 
who had assumed the form of a snake.; of him the Edda uses 
skriSa (repere, to stride), Ssem. 186. Sn. 138; and he is the 
wyrm or draca slain by Sigemund and Fitela in Beow. 1765. 
1779. In the Nib. 101, 2 and 842, 2 he is called lintmche, lint- 
drache, in the Siegfriedslied 8, 2 lintwwrm : an expression found 
also in Mar. 148, 28. En, 2947. Troj. 25199, and to be ex- 
plained, not from linde (tilia) as misunderstood by later legend, 
but from the OHG. lint. With this lint (Goth. linJTs, AS. IrS, 
ON. linn?) many women's names are formed (Gramm. 2, 505), 
e.g., Sigilint, ON. Sigrlinn (supra p. 428), and it may have con- 
tained the notion of brightness or beauty, 1 suitable alike to snake 
and woman; the derivative weak form linni (masc.) in ON. 
signifies again coluber, serpens. And himhnrg=Lintburg, the 
name of several towns, is more correctly derived from snake than 
from lime-tree. 

About dragons it is a favourite fancy of antiquity, that they 

1 Does not the Engl, lithe, pliable, give the most suitable meaning. Germ. 
gelind soft, lindern to mitigate ? — Trans. 

DRAGON. 689 

lie upon gold, and are illumined by it ; gold itself was poetically 
named worm-bed, ON. ormbeSr or ormbeSs-eldr (worinbed's fire). 
And with this was linked a further notion, that they guard 
treasures, and carry them through the air by night. That wyrm 
slain by Sigemund is called f hordes hyrde/ Beow. 1767 ; the one 
that Beowulf fought with receives the epithet ' se hord beweo- 
tode ' 4420. Fafnir, formerly a giant, lay ' in (the "shape of) a 
worm/ wearing the Oegis-hialm, over inherited gold (Sa3m. 
18S b . lS9 b ) ; the expression is ' i lyngvi } (from lyng, heath), and 
the spot is named Gnita-herSi ; hence in other cases also the word 
lyngvi, lyng&rmr (heath-worm) stands for dragon. The Vols. 
saga c. 17 distinguishes lyngormr a small snake from drehi a large 
one; so that our OHGr. heimo, OS. hema, AS. hdma, spoken of 
on p. 387, may be identical with lyngvi; Vilk. saga c. 17, p. 31 
expressly calls heima ' allra orma akcmdr ' (omnium vermium 
minimus), but as he is venomous, he cannot be the harmless 
cicada (OHG. muhheimo). Popular belief still dreams of glitter- 
ing treasures lying on lonesome heaths and guarded by dragons ; 
and hcad'en gold in Beow. may mean either aurum tesquorum or 
ethnicorum, for dragons, like giants, were thought of as old and 
full of years, e.g., eald uhtsceafta, Beow. 4536 ; wintrum froS (wise 
with years) 4548 ; ]?reo hund (300) wintra heold on hrusan (earth) 
4550; at the same time they are covetous, envious, venomous, 
spitting flame : ni&draca, Beow. 4540 ; dttorsceaffa 5<373, fyre 
befongen 4541, ongan gledum spiwan 4619, deorcum nihtum 
ricsian 4417. It is said of .Fafnir, Sasm. 186: ' screrS af gulli, 
bles eitri, hristi sik ok barSi hofbi ok sporSi/ stept off the gold, 
blew poison, shook himself, and struck with head and tail ; it was 
noticed on p. 562 that the two notions of eit (fire) and eiter 
(poison) run into one. Connect with this the descriptions of MHG. 
poets : the ' trache ' has his haunt in a valley, out of his throat 
he darts flame, smoke and wind, Trist. 8944-74 ; he has plumage, 
wings, he spits fire and venom, Troj. 9764. 9817 (see Suppl.). 

Now it was the heroes' province to extirpate not only the 
giants, but (what was in a measure the same thing) the dragons J 
in the world: Tborr himself tackles the enormous mibgarSs-orm, 
Sigemund, Siegfried, Beowulf stand forth as the bravest of 

1 The analogy is kept up in the circumstance of the conquered dragon (like the 
giant's skeleton p. 555n.) being fastened over the town-gate, e.g. Pulci 4, 76. 


dragon-quellers, backed by a crowd of others, who spring out of 
the exhaustless fount of living legend, wherever time and place 
requires them. Frotho, a second Siegfried, overpowers a veno- 
mous dragon that lay reposing on his treasure, Saxo Gram. p. 
20. The beautiful Thora Borgarhiortr had a small lyngorm given 
her, whom she placed in a casket, with gold under him : as he 
grew, the gold grew also, till the box became too narrow, and the 
worm laid himself in a ring all round it ; soon the chamber was 
too small, and he lay round that, with his tail in his mouth, admit- 
ting none into the room unless they brought him food, and he 
required an ox at every meal. Then it was proclaimed, that 
whoever slew him should get the maiden for his bride, and as 
much gold as lay under the dragon, for her dowry. It was 
Eagnar Lodbrok that subdued this dragon, Fornald. sog. 1, 
237-8. The rapid growth of the worm has a startling similarity 
to that of the fish, p. 578. But, beside the hoarded gold which 
the heroes carry off as prize, the adventure brings them other 
advantages : eating the dragon's heart gives one a knowledge of 
beasts' language, and painting oneself with his blood hardens the 
skin against all injury. Both featm^es enter deeply into the 
legend of Siegfried (see Suppl.). 1 

Nearly all of this has its counterpart in the beliefs of other 
nations. As the Romans borrowed gigas from the Greeks, so 
they did draco, for neither serpens nor vermis was adequate 
(like our slango and wurm) to express the idea. Now hpaKwv 
comes from hepiceiv to look, illumine, flash out, <pdo<; 8e&opice 
expresses illuminating light, and this confirms me in my proposed 
explanation of our lint and linni. A fox after long burrowing 
struck upon the cave of a dragon watching hidden treasure, l ad 
draconis speluncam ultimam, custodiebat qui thesauros abditos/ 
Phaedr. 4, 19. Then the story of the gold-guarding griffins must 
be included, as they are winged monsters like the dragons. 

In 0. Slavic zmiy m., and zmiya f., signify snake, the one more 
a dragon, the other an adder. The Boh. zmek is the fiery dragon 
guarding money, zmiye the adder; Serv. zmay dragon, zmiya 
adder. Mica, which the zmay shakes off him, is named otresine 
zmayeve (dragon's offshake), Vuk p. 534. Once more, everything 

1 Which reminds Albrecht in Titurel 3313—17 of a similar tale of Eodolz, 
conf. Parz. 518, 18 and Diut. 3, 59. 


leads to glitter, gold and fire. The Lith. smakas seems borrowed 
from Slavic ; whether connected with AS. snaca, is a question. 
Jungmann says, zmek is not only a dragon, but a spirit who 
appears in the shape of a wet bird, 1 usually a chicken, and brings 
people money; Sup. I, 143 says you must not hurt earth-chicks 
or house-adders; Schm. 1, 101 explains erdhiinlcin (earth -chicken) 
as a brio-ht round lustre, in the middle of which lies some- 
thing dark; conf. geuliuon, Helbl. 8, 858. 

Renvall thus describes the Finn, mammelainen : ' femina ma- 
ligna, matrix serpentis, divitiarum subterranearum custos.' Here 
at last the hoard is assigned to a female snake ; in Teutonic and 
also Slavic tales on the contrary it is characteristic of the fierce 
fiendish dragon (m.) to guard treasure, and the adder or unke (f.) 
plays more the part of a friendly homesprite : as the one is a man 
transformed, so the other appears as a crowned maiden with a 
serpent's tail (Deut. sag. no. 13), or as a fay. But she can no 
more dispense with her golden crown than the dragon with his 
guardianship of gold ; and the Boh. zmek is at once dragon and 
adder. A story of the adder-king is in Bechstein's Franken p. 
290 (see Suppl.). 

Amidst all these points of connexion, the being worshipped by 
the Lombards must remain a matter of doubt ; we have only a 
right to assume that they ascribed to it a benign and gracious 

Insects. — Some traces of beetle-worship I am able to disclose. 

"We have two old and pretty general terms : OHG. chevor, 
cheviro, MHG. kever, kevere, NHG. kiifer, N. Neth. kever, AS. 
ceafor, Engl, chafer. We have no business to bring in the Lat. 
caper (which is AS. haefer, ON. hafr) ; the root seems to be the 
AS. ceaf, caf=alacer, for the chafer is a brisk lively creature, 
and in Swabia they still say kafermassig for agilis, vivax (Gramm. 
2, 571. 1013). The AS. has ceafortun, cafertun, for atrium, vesti- 
bulum ; ' scarabaeorum oppidum ' as it were, because chafers 
chirp in it ? 3 The second term, OHG. wihil, webil, MHG. wibel, 

1 Zmokly is drenched, zmoknuti to wet ; ' mokry gako zmok,' dripping like an 

J Here again the female being has the advantage over the male. 

3 Helbling, speaking of an ill-shaped garment, starts the query (1, 177), where 


NHG. webol, wiebel, AS. wifel, wefel, Engl, weevil, agrees with. 
Litli. wdbalas, wabalis, Lett, wabbols, and I trace it to weben 
(weave, wave) in the sense of our c leben und weben/ vigere, 
moveri ; we say, ' kriebeln und wiebeln ' of the swarming of 
beetles. 1 

To the Egyptians the beetle (scarabaeus, KavOapos, Kcipa/3o<;) 
was a sacred being, an emblem of inmost life and mysterious self- 
generation. They believed that he proceeded out of matter 
which he rolled into globules and buried in manure (see Suppl.). 

ON. literature deals in no prose terms, but at once comes out 
with the poetic name iotunox, iotunoxi (giant-ox) ; as that giant 
maiden took the ploughman with his oxen and plough for crawl- 
ing beetles (p. 540, Finn, sontiainen, sondiainen, dung-beetle 
from sonda, fimus), so conversely the real beetle might awaken 
the notion of a iotunox. To liken the small animal to the large 
was natural. 

Our biggest beetle, the stately antlered stag-beetle, the Eomans 
called lucanus, Nigid. in Pliny 11, 28 (34), with which I suppose 
is connected the well-known luca bos, lucanus or lucana bos, a 
name which got shifted from the horned beast to a tusked one, 
the elephant (Varro 7, 39. 40. O. Mull. p. 135). But we call 
the beetle hirsch (stag, Fr. cerf volant), and even ox and goat, 
all of them horned beasts, Pol. ielonek, 0. Slav, elenetz (both 
stagling), Boh. rohac (corniger), Austr. hornier, Swed. horntroll. 
Again, a Lat. name for scarabaeus terrester was taurus, Plin. 30, 
5 (12), which keeps my lucanus bos or cervus, in countenance. 
To the female the Bohemians give the farther name of babJca 

On p. 183 we came across a more significant name, donner- 
guegi, donnerpuppe, in obvious allusion to Donar, whose holy tree 
the beetle loves to dwell in ; and with this, apparently, agrees a 
general term for beetles which extends through Scandinavia, 
viz. Westergotl. torbagge, Swed. tortyfvel, Norweg. tordivel, Jutl. 
torr, torre. True, there is no Icelandic form, let alone ON., in 
which Thorr can be detected ; yet this ' tor ' may have the same 

might be the back and belly of one that was hidden away in such a cheverpeunt ? 
He calls the ample cloak a chafer-pound or yard, in whose recesses you catch beetles. 
This keverpiunt answers to the AS. ceafortun. 

1 Slavic names are, Boh. chraust, Pol. chraszcz ; Boh. brauk, bruk, prob. from 
bruchus, ppovKos. [Buss, zhuk ; the ' gueg ' of S. Germany ?] 


force it lias in torsdag (p. 126) and tordon (p. 166) ; ' bagge/ 
says Ibre p. 122, denotes juvenis, puer, bence servant of tbe god, 
which, was afterwards exchanged for dyfvel=diefvul, devil. 
Afzelius (Sagohafder 1, 12. 13) assures us, that tbe torbagge was 
sacred to Thor, that in Norrlandbis larva is called mulloxe (earth- 
ox, our Swiss donnerpuppe ? conf. iotunoxi), and that he who 
finds a dung-beetle lying on liis back (ofvaltes) unable to help 
himself, and sets him on his legs again, is believed by the Norr- 
landers to have atoned for seven sins thereby. 

This sounds antique enough, and I do not hastily reject the 
proposed interpretation of tordyfvel, false as it looks. For the 
AS. tordwifel is plainly made up of c tord/ stercus (Engl, turd) 
and the 'wifel' above, and answers to the Dan. skai-nbasse, 
skarntorre (dungbeetle) ; consequently tordyfvel, torbasse crave 
the same solution, even though a simple ' tord ' and ' vivel ' be 
now wanting in all the Scandinavian dialects. The Icelandic 
has turned tordivel about into torfdifill, as if turf-devil, from 
torf, gleba. There is also the N. Neth. tor, tor re beetle, and 
drektorre dungbeetle [or devil's coach-horse ; also Engl, dumble- 
dorr cockchafer], to be taken into account (see Suppl.). 

But who ever saw even a beetle lie struggling on his back, 
without compassionately turning him over ? The German people, 
which places the stagbeetle in close connexion with thunder and 
fire, may very likely have paid him peculiar honours once. 

Like other sacred harbingers of spring (swallows, storks), the 
first cockchafer (Maikiifer) 1 used to be escorted in from the woods 
with much ceremony; we have it on good authority, that this 

1 Maikiifer (like maiblume) sounds too general, and not a people's word. And 
there is do Lat. name preserved either. The Greek fjni\o\6i>0r) designates our mai- 
kiifer or our goldkafer ; boys tied a string to it and played with it (Aristoph. Nub. 
763), as our boys do. The It. scarafaggio is formed from scarafone (scarabaeus) ; 
the Fr. hanneton a dim. of the obsolete hanne horse, which may have been the term 
for the stagbeetle (still petzgaul, Bruin's horse, in the Wetterau), Fr. cerf volant, 
Dan. eeghiort, Swed. ekhjort, i.e. oak-hart. The Mecklenb. eksawer, oak-chafer, as 
well as the simple saver, sever, sebber (Schiitze's Hoist, idiot. 4,91) is applied to the 
maikiifer; in other parts of L. Saxony they Bay maisavel, maisdbel. This saver, 
zdver (Brem. wtb. 4, 592. 5, 310) is surely no other than kiifer with change of k 
into z, s; Chytneus's Nomencl. saxon. has • zever, and goldzever = goldkafer.' Or 
does the HG. ziefer belong here, contrary to the etymol. proposed on p. 40? In 
the Westerwald powitz, kowitz is maikiifer, and in R.ivensbevg povommel dungbeetle 
(Kuhn's Westfal. sagen 2, 188), almost agreeing with Esthon. poua chafer, beetle. 
Like the various names for the stagbeetle, maybeetle, dungbeetle, goldbeetle, the 
traces of ancient beetle-worship seem also to meet, first in one, then in another of 
them. A scarafone who brings succour occurs in Pentamer. 3, 5 (see Suppl.). 


continued to be done by the spinning girls in parts of Schleswig 
as late as the 17th century. 1 

Folk- tales of Up. Germany inform us : Some girls, not grown 
up, went one Sunday to a deserted tower on a hill, found the 
stairs strewn with sand, and came to a beautiful room they had 
never seen before, in which there stood a bed with curtains. 
When they drew these aside, the bed was swarming with gold- 
beetles, and jumping up and down of itself. Filled with amaze- 
ment, the girls looked on for a while, till suddenly a terror seized 
them, and they fled out of the room and down the stairs, with an 
unearthly howl and racket at their heels (Moneys Ahz. 7, 477). 
On the castle-hill by Wolfartsweiler a little girl saw a copper pot 
standing on three legs, quite new and swarming full of horsebeetles 
(roskafer). She told her parents, who saw at once that the beetles 
were a treasure, and hastened with her to the hill, but found 
neither pot nor beetles any more (ibid. 8, 305). Here beetles 
appear as holy animals guarding gold, and themselves golden. 

In Sweden they call the small goldbeetle (skalki'ak) Virgin 
Mary's key-maid (jungfru Marie nyckelpiga), Dybeck's Runa 
1844, p. 10; in spring the girls let her creep about on their 
hands, and say, ' hon marker mig brudhandskar,' she marks (fore- 
shews) me bride's gloves ; if she flies away, they notice in which 
direction, for thence will come the bridegroom. Thus the beetle 
seems a messenger of the goddess of love ; but the number of 
the black spots on his wings has to be considered too : if more 
than seven, corn will be scarce that year, if less, you may look 
for an abundant harvest, Afzel. 3, 112-3. 

The little coccinella septempunctata has mythical names in 
nearly all our dialects : NHG. gotteskiihlein (God's little cow), 21 
gotteskalb, herrgotteskalb, herrgotts-thiercheu (-beastie), herr- 
gots-voglein (-birdie), Marienvoglein, Marienkdfer, Marienkalblein ; 
Engl, ladycow, ladybird, ladyfiy; Dan. Marihone (-hen); Boh. 
hrawJca, hrawicka (little cow). In Up. Germany they call the 
small goldbeetle (chrysomela vulg.) fraua-chiieli, ladycow (Tobler 

1 An old description of the maygrave feast by Ulr. Petersen (in Falck's New 
staatsb. mag., vol. 1, Schlesw. 1832, p. 655) speaks of it tbus : ' A quaint procession 
of the erewhile amazous of the spinning-wbeel at Scbleswig, for fetching in of a 
cantharis or maykafer with green boughs, whereat the town-ball of this place was 
decked out with greenery.' The feast was still held in 1630 — 40. 

2 The Kuss. 'Bozbia korovka, has exactly the same meaning. — Trans. 


20-f 1 ') and ' der liebe froue henje,' our lady's hen (Alb. Schott's 
Deutsche in Piemonfc 297), in contrast to herra-chueli the 
coccinella (Tobler 265 a ), though the name probably wavers be- 
tween the two. By the same process which we observed in the 
names of plants and stars, Mary seems to have stept into the 
place of Freyja, and Marihone was formerly Freyjuhoena, which 
we still have word for word in Froue henje, and the like in Fraua- 
chiieli. And of Romance tongues, it is only that of France (where 
the community of views with Germany was strongest) that has a 
bete a dieu, vache a dieu; Span, and Ital. have nothing like it. 
At all events our children's song : 

MarienTxdferchcn, flieg aus ! (fly away) 

dein hauschen brennt, (burns) 

dein mutterchen flennt, (weeps) 

dein vaterchen sitzt auf der schwelle ; (sits on the threshold) 

flieg in 'n himmel aus der holle ! (into heaven out of hell) 

must be old, for in England also they sing: 'Ladybird, ladybird, 
fly away home, your house is on fire, and your children will burn 
[all but little Bessie that sits in the sun].' With us too the chil- 
dren put the Marienkafer or sonnenkafer on their finger, and ask 
it, like the cuckoo : ' sunnenkiehen (sun's chicken), ik frage di, 
wo lange schal ik leven ? ' ' Een jaar, twee jaar,' etc., till the 
chafer flies away, its home being in the sun or in heaven. In 
Switzerland they hold the goldbeetle on their hand, and say : 
' cheferli, cheferli, fliig us ! i getter milech ond brocka ond e 
silberigs loffeli dezue.' Here the chafer, like the snake, is offered 
' milk and crumbs and a silver spoon thereto.' In olden times be 
must have been regarded as the god's messenger and confidant 
(see Suppl ). 

Lastly the bee, the one insect that is tamable and will live 
among men, and whose wise ways are such a lesson to them, may 
be expected to have old mythic associations. The bee is believed 
to have survived from the golden age, from the lost paradise 
(Chap. XXX.) ; nowhere is her worth and purity more prettily 
expressed than in the Servian lay of the rich Gavan, where God 
selects three holy angels to prove mankind, and bids them 
descend from heaven to earth, ( as the bee upon the flower,' kako 
pchela po tsvetu (Vuk 1, 128 ed. 2). The clear sweet honey, 

VOL. II. s 


which bees suck out of every blossom, is a chief ingredient of the 
drink divine (p. 319), it is the r/Bela iScoSr/ of the gods, Hymn, in 
Merc. 560 ; and holy honey the first food that touches the lips 
of a new-born child, RA. 457. Then, as the gift of poesy is 
closely connected with O^hroeris dreckr, it is bees that bring it 
to sleeping Pindar : fieXiaaai avrcp /cadevSovri irpoaeireTovro re 
Kai ewXaacrov 7rpo? tcl %e/\?7 rov Krjpov' cip-%7} fiev TlivSdpa) 
Trotelv ao-fxara iyevero rotainrj, Pausan. ix. 23, 2. And there- 
fore they are called Musarum volucres (Varro de re rust. 3, 16). 
A kindermarchen (no. 62) speaks of the queen-bee settling on 
her favourite's mouth; 1 if she flies to any one in his sleep, he 
is accounted a child of fortune. 

It seems natural, in connexion with these bustling winged 
creatures, to think of the silent race o£ elves and dwarfs, which 
like them obeys a queen. It was in the decaying flesh of the first 
giant that dwarfs bred as maggots ; in exactly the same way bees 
are said to have sprung from the putrefaction of a bullock's body : 
' apes nascuntur ex bubulo corpore putrefacto/ Varro, 2, 5 ; 
' amissas reparari ventribus bubulis recentibus cum fimo obrutis/ 
Plin. 11, 20 (23); conf. Virg. Georg. 4, 284-558. Ov. Met. 15, 
364. To this circumstance some have ascribed the resemblance 
between apis bee and Apis bull, though the first has a short a, 
and the last a long. What seems more important for us is the 
celebrated discovery of a golden bullock's-head amongst many 
hundred golden bees in the tomb of the Frankish king Childeric 
at Doornik (repres. in Eccard's Fr. or. 1, 39. 40). 

Natural history informs us that clouds of bees fall upon the 
sweet juice of the ash-tree; and from the life-tree Yggclrasil the 
Edda makes a dew trickle, which is called a 'fall of honey/ 
and nourishes bees (Sn. 20). 3 

The Yngl. saga cap. 14 says of Yngvifrey's son, king Fiolnir 
(Siolm in the 0. Swed. chron.), that he fell into a barrel of mead 
and was drowned; so in Saxo, king Hunding falls into sweet 
mead, and the Greek myth lets Glaucus drown in a honey-jar, the 
bright in the sweet. According to a legend of the Swiss Alps, 

1 Sederunt in ore infantis turn etiam Platonis, suaYitateru illam praedulcis 
eloquii portendentes. Plin. 11, 17 (18). 

2 Ceram ex floribus, melliginem e lacrimis arborum quae glutinum pariunt, 
salicis, ulmi, arundinis succo. 

BEE. 697 

in the golden age when the brooks and lakes were filled with 
milk, a shepherd was upset in his boat and drowned ; his body, 
long sought for, turned up at last in the foaming cream, when 
they were churning, and was buried in a cavity which bee3 had 
constructed of honeycombs as large as town-gates (Mem. de 
l'acad. celt. 5, 202). Bees weave a temple of wax and feathers 
(Schwenk's Gr. myth. p. 129. Herm. Miiller's Griechenth. 455), 
and in our Kinderm. no. 107, p. 130-1 a palace of wax and honey. 
This reminds us of the beautiful picture in Lohengrin p. 191 of 
Henry 2/s tomb in Bamberg cathedral : 

Sus lit er da in siner stift 

di'er het erbouwen, als diu bin ir wift 

uz maneger bliiete wiirket, daz man honc-seim nennet. 

(he lies in the minster he built, as the bee her web from many a 
blossom works, that we name honey -juice) . In the various 
languages the working bee is represented as female, OHG. pia, 
Lat. apis, Gr. /ze'Xicrera, Lith. bitte, in contrast with the masc. 
fucus the drone, OHG. treno, Lith. tranas ; but then the head of 
the bees is made a king, our weiser (pointer), MHG. wisel, OHG. 
wiso, dux, Pliny's f rex apium/ Lith. bittinis, M. Lat. chosdrus 
(Ducange sub v.), yet AS. beomodor. Boh. matka. The Gr. 
iacnjv is said to have meant originally the king-bee, and to have 
acquired afterwards the sense of king or priest, as fieXiaaa also 
signified priestess, especially of Deineter and Artemis. Even 
gods and goddesses themselves are represented by the sacred 
animal, Zeus (Aristaeus) as a bee, Vishnu as a blue bee. A 
Roman Meilona (Arnob. 4, 131), or Mellonia (Aug. de civ. Dei 
4, 24), was goddess of bees ; the Lith. Austheia was the same, 
jointly with a bee-god Bybylus. Masculine too was the Lett. 
Uhsinsh, i.e., the hosed one, in reference to bees' legs being 
covered with wax ('waxen thighs/ Mids. Dream 3, 1). From all 
these fancies, mostly foreign, we might fairly make guesses about 
our own lost antiquities ; but we should have to get more exact 
information as to the legend of the Bee-wolf (pp. 369, 673) and 
the mythic relationship of the woodpecker (Lith. melleta) to the 
bee (see Suppl.). 


The visible heavens have in many ways left their mark on the 
heathen faith. Not only do gods, and the spirits who stand 
next them, have their dwelling in the sky, and get mixfc up with 
the stars, but earthly beings too, after their dissolution, are 
transported thither, and distinguished heroes and giants shine 
as constellations. From the sky the gods descend to earth, 
along the sky they make their journeys, and through the sky 
they survey unseen the doings of men. And as all plants turn 
to the light of heaven, as all souls look up to heaven, so do the 
smoke of sacrifice and the prayers of mankind mount upwards. 

Heaven covers earth, and our word 'himmel' comes from 
the root hima (tego, involvo, vestio, Gramm. 2, 55 ; conf. Lith. 
dangus coelum, from dengiu tego ; OHG. himilezi laquear). The 
Goths and Old Norsemen agree in preferring the form himins, 
himinn, and most other Teutons himil ; even Swed. Norw. Dan. 
have hiimnel. The Saxon race has moreover two terms peculiar 
to itself: one is OS. hebhan, hevan, AS. heofon, Engl, heaven, 
and still in Lower Saxony and Westphalia, heben, heven, haven, 
hdwen. I have endeavoured to make out the area over which 
this name extends (Gramm. I, xiv.). The Frisians did not use 
it, for the N. and W. Fris. patois of to-day owns to nothing but 
'himmel.'' 1 Nor does the Netherl. dialect know it; but it is 
found in Westphalia, in L. Saxony as far as Holstein, and beyond 
the Elbe in Mecklenburg and Pomerania. The AS. and Engl, 
are wholly destitute of the word himel ; OS., like the present 
LS. and Westph., employs both terms alike, yet apparently so 
as to designate by hevan more the visible heaven, and by himil 
the supersensual. Alb. of Halberstadt (ed. 1545, 145 b ) uses 

1 Himel, Lapekoer fen Gabe scroar, Dimter 1834, p. 101. 103. hemmel, Hansens 
Geizhalz, Souderbg. 1833. p. 148. himel, Friesche wetten 348. himul, As. 274. 



heben (rhym. neben) of the place. Eeinolfc von der Lippe couples 
the two words: ' liim°l und heben von vreuden muz irkrachen,' 
burst with joy. People say : ' de heven steit niimmer to ' ; ' wenn 
de heven fallt, lig-g- wi der all unner ; ' ' de sterren an dem haven ; ' 
in Westphalia hebenscheer means a sky overcast without rain, and 
even heben alone can signify cloud. 1 In hihvenhiine (p. 156), in 
kukuk vara haven (p. 676), the physical sense preponderates, 
whereas one would hardly speak otherwise than of ' going to 
himel/ or himelrih. Yet this distinction seems to be compara- 
tively recent : as the AS. he'ofon can be used in a purely spiritual 
sense, so the poet of our Heliand alternates between himilriki 
149, 8 and hebanriM 143, 24, himilfader 145, 12 and hebancuning 
143, 20. And of course himil had originally, and has everywhere 
in PIG., the physical meaning too ; hence upliimil in Hel. 88, 15, 
just like npheofon in Casdm. 270, 24. The root of hebhan, hevan, 
he'ofon, is probably a lost Gothic, <hiba, haf/ cognate with Lat. 
capio, so that it is the all-capacious, ON. vidfecTmir, wide-fathom- 
ing or encompassing sky. 2 

The other Saxon term may be placed on a level with the Gi\ 
aldi'ip (thin upper air), whilst himil and hevan answer to ovpavos ; 
it is OS. radur, AS, rodor. In Ceedmon we find rodor 183, 19. 
207,8. uprodar 179, 10. 182,15. 205.2. rodortungol (star), 
100, 21. rodorbeorht 239, 10. Its root rad lies buried as yet 
in obscurity ; it has disappeared from all modern dialects [except 
as Bother in proper names ?] . I am inclined to connect with 
it the ON. rocFull (sol), which has nothing to do with raivSr 
(ruber). From the AS. poets using indifferently ' wuldres gim' 
and ' lieofones gim ' (Beow. 4142. Andr. 1209); heofonbeorht, 
rodorbeorht, wuldorheorht ; heofontorht, swegltorht, wuldortarht ; 
we might almost infer that wuldor (glory) originally meant 
coelum, which would throw light on the OHG. name WoldarhWh. 
And the same with sivegel (aether, coelum) : conf. swegles begong, 

1 Sanskr. nabas, Slav. n6bo (coelum), pi. nebesa, Gr. j/^os, Lat. nubes, nebula ; 
Ir. neamb, Wei. m'-v, Armor, nef, Lett, debbes (coelum), debbess (nubes) ; couf. Lith. 
dangus above [and sky, welkin, with ON. scy, Germ, wolke, cloud]. 

2 ' Hills of heaven' are high ones, reaching into the clouds, often used as proper 
names: himimioll, Sasm. 148\ Tngl. saga cap. 39; Himinbiorg, Sami. 41, 92 b is 
an abode of gods; spirits haunt the Himiliriberg (inons coelius, Pertz 2, 10); 
Himilesberg in Hesse (Kucbenbecker's Anal. 11, 137. Amsb. urk. 118); a Him- 
meUberg in Vestgbtland, and one in Hallaud (said to be Hoim'Sall's) ; Hiinelberc, 
Frauendienst 199, 10. 


Beow. 1713; under swegle (sub coelo), Beow. 2149; swegh&A 
(coeli currus), Cod. exon. 355, 47 ; OS. suigli. 

I call attention to the AS. sceldbyrig, Caedm. 283, 23, which 
has no business to be translated refugium or sheltering 1 city ; it is 
distinctly our schildburg (aula clypeis tecta), a bit of heathenism 
the poet let fall inadvertently ; so the Edda speaks of Valholl 
as ' shioldum hokt, lagt gyltum shioldum, sva sem spanhak/ Sn. 2, 
thatched with golden shields as with shingle-roof (p. 702 and 

Eddie names in Ssem. 49 b . Sn. 177; all masculine, some 
obviously founded on personification. Heaven is pictured as 
a husband, embracing the female earth ; he is not however 
admitted into the circle of the gods, like Ovpavos, whereas Earth 
does stand among the goddesses. To us heaven signifies simply 
a certain space, the residence of gods. Two poetic names for 
it have reference to that enigmatical being Mimir (p. 379) : 
hreggmimir, rain-shedder, from hregg imber ; and vetmimir, 
moistener ? conf. vaata humor. 

To express star, constellation (sidus), our older speech, in 
addition to stairno, sterno, steorra, stiarna (Gramm. 3, 392) and 
OHG. himiheichan (Hymn. 4, 2), has a symbolical term, OHG. 
himilzvngd, Diut. 1, 526 b and Gl. Doc. 249 ; OS. himiltungal, Hel. 
18, 2; AS. lieofontungol, rodortungol ; ON. kimintungl. Even 
the simple tungol has the same sense in AS., and a Gothic gloss 
on Gal. 4, 3, gives c tuggl astrum/ whilst in ON. tungl means the 
moon. This neuter noun tungal, tungol, tungl, is no doubt from 
tunga (lingua), which word itself appears in OHG. himilzunga 
(Graff 5, 682) : the moon and some of the planets, when partially 
illuminated, do present the appearance of a tongue or a sickle, 
and very likely some cosmogonic belief 1 was engrafted on that ; 
I know of nothing like it in other languages. 

All the heavenly bodies have particular spots, seats, chairs 
assigned them, which they make their abode and resting-place ; 
they have their lodges and stages (sterrono girusti, 0. i. 17, 10). 
This holds especially of the sun, who daily sinks into his seat 

1 A translation of the tongue to heaven. Or was the twinkling of the stars 
likened to a tingling [ziingeln, a quivering nickering motion like that of the 
tongue]? The moon's steady light does not hear that out, nor the OHG. form 
without the I. 

SUN. MOON, 701 

or settle (see Chap. XXIII) j but similar chairs (KM. 25), and 
a seat-goino- (sedelgang) are attributed to all the stars. N. Bth. 
210. 223 says, Bootes ' trago ze sedele gauge/ and 'tiu zeicheu 
ne gant nicht in sedeU As chair and table are things closely 
connected, the stars may have had tables of their own, or, what 
comes to the same thing, may have been regarded as tables of 
the sky ; in saying which, I am not thinking of the Egyptian 
sun-table, but more immediately of the ' bioffum yppa/ sidera 
extollere, of the Voluspa (Saem. l b ), the three creative ' Bors 
synir ' having set up as it were the tables of the firmament : 
bioor is the Goth, biuds, OHG. piot (pp. 38. 68). As the 
stationary stars had chairs and tables, the planetary ones, like 
other gods, had steeds and cars ascribed to them (see Suppl.). 1 

The two principal stars are the sun and moon, whose gender 
and appellations I have discussed in Gramm. 3, 349. 350 : a MHG. 
poet calls the sun ' daz merere Held,' the greater light, Fundgr. 
2, 12. It is worth mentioning that some of the Eddie names 
for the moon are still preserved in patois dialects of Up. Germany. 
As the dwarfs named the moon skin (jubar), the East Franks 
call her schein (Reinwald's Henneb. id. 2, 159). 2 In the under- 
world the moon bore the name of hverfandi hvel, whirling wheel, 
and in Styria (esp. the Bruck distr.) she is gmoa-rat (Sartori's 
Styria, p. 82), if I may translate that by rota communis, though 
it may perhaps mean gemeiner rath (vorrath), a common pro- 
vision at the service of all men. That the sun was likened to a 
ivheel of fire, and the element blazing out of him was represented 
iu the shape of a wheel, has been fully shewn, p. 620. Tit. 2983 
speaks of the sun's wheel. The Edda expressly calls the sun 
fagrahvel, fair wheel, Saem. 50 a Sn. 177. 223. The Norse 
rune for S is named sol sun, the AS. and OHG. sigll, sugil, for 
which I have proposed (Andr. p. 96) the readings segil, sagil, 
sahil, and may now bring in support the Goth. so. nil and 
Gr. 7/\to?. But the Gothic letter Q (= HV) is the very symbol 
of the sun, and plainly shews the shape of a wheel ; we must 

1 Wagen waggon belongs to wcg way, as carpentum does to carpere (viam) ; the 
car of heaven is also that of the highest god. Otfr. i. 5, 5. says of the herald angel : 
' floug er sunnum pad, sterrono strdza, wega wolkSno.' The Indians also call the 
sky path of clouds, Somadeva 1, 17. 2, 157. 

2 So in Mod. Gr. <peyy6.pi brilliance, a name whose surprising identity with the 
OHi.fengari (Sn. 177) I have already noticed elsewhere. 


therefore suppose it to have been the initial of a Goth, 
hvil = AS. Itweol, ON. hvel. From f hvel' was developed the 
Icel. Idol, Swed. Dan. hjul, 0. Swed. hiughl; and from ( hweol, 
hweohl ; the ~Eng\. wheel, Nethl. iviel, and Fria.fial (Richth. 737). 
In view of all these variations, some have even ventured to 
bring in the ON. jol, Swed. Dan. jul (yule), the name of the 
winter solstice, and fasten upon it also the meaning of the wheel; 
on that hypothesis the two forms must have parted company 
very early, supposing the Gothic name of November jiuleis to 
be cognate. 1 The word wheel seems to be of the same root as 
while, Goth, hveila, OHG. India, i.e. revolving time; conf. Goth, 
hveila-hvairbs, OHG. huil-huerbic, volubilis. 

Another symbolic epithet of the sun seems to be of great age : 
the warlike sentiment of olden times saw in him a gleaming 
circular shield, and we noticed above (p. 700) that the sky itself 
formed a sceldbyrig. Notker cap. 71, finding in his text the 
words 'sinistra clypeum coruscantem praeferebat (Apollo),' 
translates : ' an dero winsterun truog er einen roten shilt/ then 
adds a remark of his own : ' wanda selbiu diu sunna einemo 
skilte gelih ist.' In German law and German poetry we catch 
the glimmer of these ' red shields.' Even Opitz 2, 286 calls the 
sun ' the beauteous shield of heaven.' 

The very oldest and most universal image connected with 
the sun and other luminaries seems after all to be that of the 
eye. Ancient cosmogonies represent them as created out of eyes. 
To Persians the sun was the eye of Ahuromazdao (Ormuzd), to 
Egyptians the right eye of the Demiurge, to the Greeks the 
eye of Zeus, to our forefathers that of Wuotan ; and a fable in 
the Eclda says OSinn had to leave one of his eyes in pledge 
with Mimir, or hide it in his fountain, and therefore he is pic- 
tured as one-eyed. In the one-eyed Cyclop's mouth Ovid puts 
the words (Met. 13, 851) : 

Unum est in media lumen mihi fronte, sed instar 
ingentis clypei ; quid, non haec omnia magno 
sol videt e coelo ? soli tamen unicus orhis. 

1 The Norse initial H is occasionally dropt : in Icel. both hiula and jula 
stand for the babbling of infants. The dialect of the Saterland Frisians has an 
actual jule, jole (rota). It is worthy of notice, that in some parts of Schleswig they 
used at Christmas-time to roll a wheel into the village, and this was called ' at trills 
juul i by,' trundling yule into town ; Outzen sub. v. jol, p. 145. 

SUN. MOON. 703 

Like the giant, the god (Wuotan, the sky) has but one eye, 
which is a wheel and a shield. In Beow. 1135 ' bedcen Godes ' 
is the sun, the great celestial sign. 1 With this eye the divinity 
surveys the world, and nothing can escape its peering all-piercing 
glance 2 ; all the stars look down upon men. 3 But the ON. poets, 
not content with treating suu, moon and stars as eyes of heaven, 
invert the macrocosm, and call the human eye the sun, moon, or 
star of the skull, forehead, brows and eyelashes ; they even call 
the eye the shield of the forehead : a confirmation of the similar 
name for the sun. Another title they bestow on the sun is 
' gimsteinn himius ' (gemma coeli) ; so in AS. ' heofones gim,' 
Beow. 4142 and ' wuldres gim/ Andr. 1289 (see Suppl.). 

And not only is the sun represented as the god's eye looking 
down, but as his full face and countenance; and that is how we 
draw his picture still. Otfried says of the sun being darkened 
at the Saviour's death, iv. 33, 5 : 

In ni liaz si nuzzi thaz scouaz annuzzi, 

ni liaz in scinan thuruh thaz ira gisiuni blidaz. 

The Edda speaks of the sun and moon as brother and sister, 
children of a mythic Mundilfori. Several nations beside the 
Lithuanians and Arabs (Gramm. 3, 351) agree with us in ima- 
gining the moon masculine and the sun feminine. The Mexican 
Meztli (luna) is a man ; the Greenlanders think of Anningat, the 
moon, as pursuing his sister Mallina, the sun. An Ital. story 
(Pentam. 5, 5) makes Sole and Luna children of Talia (in 
Perrault they are named Jour and Aurore). The Slavs make the 
moon masc, a star fern., the sun neut. ; thus in a Servian lay 
(Vuk 1, 134), God calls the sun (suntse, Euss. solntse, -tse dim. 
suff.) his child (chedo), the moon (mesets) being its brother, and 
the star (zvezda) its sister. To think of the stars as children or 
young suns is nothing out of the way. AVolfram says in Wh. 254, 
5: 'jungiu siinnelin ruohten wahsen.' 

1 The Servians call the deepest part of a lake oko (eye), Vuk's Montenegro 62. 
- When the Iliad U, 344 says: 

ov8 clv vui'i 5ta.opa.Koi H(\i6s irep, 
ovre kclI d^vrarov iriXerai <paos daop&aatiai, 
it resembles the lay of Wolfram 8, 28 : 

Obe der sunnen dri mit blicke wairen (if there were 3 suns looking), 
sin inohten zwischen si geliuhten (they could not shine in between). 
s Upeo-^to-Tov do-rpup vvkt6s 6<p0a\fi6s, Aesch. Sept. c. Th. 390. 


Down to recent times, our people were fond of calling the 
sun and moon frmi sonne and herr mmid} Aventin 19 b : 'franw 
Sonne geht zu rast und gnaden.' In the country between the 
Inn and Salzach they say ' der her Man/ meaning no more than 
simply moon, Schm. 2, 230. 582. Gesner in Mithrid., Tur. 1555, 
p. 28 : 'audio veteres Germanos Lunura quoque deum coluisse et 
appellasse hermon, id est dominum Lunum, quod forte parum 
animadvertentes aliqui ad Hermann, i.e. Mercurium trans- 
tulerunt; ' this last guess has missed the mark. Hulderic. Eyben 
de titulo nobilis, Helmst. 1677. 4, p. 136: 'qua etiam ratione 
in veteri idololatrico luna non domina, dominus appellatur : 

bis gottwillkommen, neiier mon, holder herr, 
mack mir meines geldes mehr ! 3 

Also in Nicolaus Magni de Gawe (Superst. E, 10): f vetulam 
novi, quae credidit solem esse deanv, vocans earn sanctam domi- 
nam;' and earlier still in Eligius (Sup. A): 'nullus dominos 
solem aut lunam vocet/ 3 

In these invocations lingers the last vestige of a heathen 
worships perhaps also in the s-onnenlehn, sun-fief (RA. 278) ? I 
have spoken on bowing to the sun, p. 31, and cursing by him, 
' der sunnen haz. vara/ p. 19, where he is made equal to a deity. 4 
In the same way the knees were bent and the head bared to the 
new moon (Sup, E, 11). In taking an oath the fingers were 
extended toward the sun (Weisth. 3, 349) ; and even Tacitus in 
Ann. 13, 55 relates of Bojocalus : 'solem respiciens et cetera 
sidera vocans, quasi coram interrogabat, vellentne intueri inane 
solum 7 (see Suppl.). 

That to our remote ancestry the heavenly bodies, especially 
the sun and moon, were divine beings, will not admit of any 
doubt. Not only do such symbolic expressions- as ' face, eye, 
tongue, wheel, shield, table, car ' bring us face to face with a 
vivid personification ; we have also seen how significantly Caesar 

1 Frau Sunne (Gorres Meisterl. 184). Hence in O.Fr. Solans,, without the 
article, Bekker on Ferabras p. 163, 

- His authority is Dynkelspuhl tract. 1, praec. 1, p. 59. Is. this the Nicolaus 
Dinkelspuel in Jocher ? 

3 Conf. the wind addressed as lord, p. 631 ; and dobropan, p. 130 note. 

* Some would trace the name of Salzwedel, Soltwedel in the Altmark to heathen 
sun-worship, (Ledebur's Allg. arch. 14, 370. Temme's Altmark p. 29), though the 
first syll. plainly means salt ; ' wedel ' will be explained when we come to the moon. 

SUN. MOON. 705 

couples together Sol, Vulcanus and Luna, p. 103. conf. p. 602. 
As Sol is reckoned among asins in the Edda (Sn. 39), and is 
sister to Mdni (Sn. 12), this last has claims to an equal rank. 
Yet Ssem. l b calls Sol ' sinni Mana,' companion of the moon, 
sinni being the Goth, gasinpja, OHG. kasindeo, sindo > and it is 
remarkable that the Merseburg Lay gives the divine Sunna not 
a companion brother, but a sister Sindgund (supra p. 308), whose 
name however still expresses attendance, escort; 1 may she have 
been a morning or evening star ? We should have to know first, 
what distinction a dim remote antiquity made between s&uil and 
sunno in respect of gender and mythical use ; if ' sauil, sagil/ like 
sol and 77X109, was masc, then Sunna and Sindgund might be 
imagined as female moons like Luna and SeXijvr), yet sol is always 
fern, in ON., and our sunne so late as in MHG. strangely wavers 
between the two sexes, Gramm. 3, 350 (see Suppl.). 

Be that as it may, we have a right to add in support of the 
sun's divinity, that l she ' is described like other gods (pp. 17. 26. 
324), as blithe, sweet and gracious. 0. iv. 33, 6 speaks of her 
' gisiuni blidaz, thes sih ioh worolt frewita/ whereof the world 
had aye rejoiced ; and a 13th cent, poem (Zeitschr. f. d. alt. 1, 
493-4) thus describes the greetings addressed to her : 

Wol dir frouive Sunne I 'Hail to thee, Lady Sun ! 

du bist al der werlt wunne ! Art all the world's delight.' 

so ir die Sunnen vro sehet, When ye see the sun glad, 

schcenes tages ir ir jehet, The fair day to her ye ascribe, 

der eren ir der Sunnen jehefc, To her ye give the honour, 

swenn ir si in liehtem schine sehet. Whenever ye see,, etc. 

Other passages in point are reserved for next chapter. 

The personality of the sun and moon shews itself moreover in 
a fiction that has wellnigh gone the round of the world. These 
two, in their unceasing unflagging career through the void of 
heaven, appear to be in flight, avoiding some pursuer. A pair of 
wolves are on their track, Shall dogging the steps of the sun, 
Uati of the moon ; they come of a giant race, the mightiest of 
whom, Mdnagarmr (moon-dog), apparently but another name for 
Hati, is sure some day to overtake and siualloiv the moon. How 

1 Conf. sunnagahts, sungiht (solis iter), p. 617 n., and sunnan s\5fcct (iter), 
Caedm. 182, 25. 


extensively this tradition prevailed, has already been shewn 
(pp. 244-5) . l A parhelion or mock-sun (vadersol) is in Swed. 
called solvarg, solid/, sun-wolf, Hire's Dial. lex. 165. 

One of the most terrific phenomena to heathens was an eclipse 
of the sun or moon, which they associated with a destruction of 
all things and the end of the world ; they fancied the monster 
had already got a part of the shining orb between his jaws, and 
they tried to scare him away by loud cries. This is what Eligius 
denounces (Superst. A) : ' nullus, si quando luna obscuratur, 
vociferare praesumat ; ' it is the cry of ' vince luna ! ' 3 that the 
Indicul. paganiar. means in cap. 21 de defectione lunae, and 
Burchard (Sup. C, 193 b ) by his ' clamoribus aut auxilio splendorem 
lunae deficientis restaurare' The Norse writings, while minutely 
describing the threatened deglutition, make no allusion to the 
shouting : it may have been more customary with Celts and 
Romans than with Teutons. A 5th cent, father, St. Maximus of 
Turin, in a Homilia de defectu lunae, preaches thus : ' Cum ante 
dies plerosque de vestrae avaritiae cupiditate pulsaveritn, ipsa die 
circa vesperam tanta vociferatio populi exstitit, ut irx*eligiositas 
ejus penetraret ad coelum. Quod quum requirerem, quid sibi 
clamor hie velit, dixerunt mihi, quod lahoranti lunae vestra vocife- 
ratio subveniret, et defectum ejus suis clamoribus adjuvaret.' s The 
same ' laborans ' (in distress) is used by Juvenal 6, 442 : 

Jam nemo tubas, nemo aera fatiget ; 
una lahoranti poterit succurrere lunae* 

I may safely assume that the same superstitious notions and 
practices attend eclipses among nations ancient and modern. 5 
The Indian belief is, that a serpent eats up the sun and moon 
when they are eclipsed (Bopp's Gloss. 148 a ), or a demon (rahus) 
devours them (Bopp's Nalas, pp. 153. 272. Somadeva 2, 1 5. 187). 

1 I add from Fischart's Garg. 130 b : 'sari den wolf dies mons.' Rabelais 1, 11 
has : la lune des loups. In old calendars, eclipses are represented by two dragons 
holding the sun and moon in their mouths, Mone's Untersuch. p. 183. 

2 This would be in OHG. ' Karih mano ! ' in Goth. ' jiukai mena ! ' but we 
find nothing of the kind even later. 

3 Ducange 6, 1618 quotes the passage sub v. vinceluna ; but the reprint of the 
Horn. Maximi taurin. ' De defectu lunae ' (in Mabillon's Mus. Ital., torn. i. pars 2, 
pp. 19. 20) has it not. 

* Conr. Tac. Annal. 1, 28 and Boeth. de consol. 4 metr. 5 : ' lassant crebris 
pulsibus aera.' 

5 It is only among Greeks and Slavs that I have not come across them. 


To this day the Hindus consider that a giant lays hold of the 
luminaries, and tries to swallow them (Broughton's Pop. poetry 
of Hind. p. 131). The Chinese call the solar eclipse zhishi (solis 
devoratio), the lunar yueshi (iunae devoratio), and ascribe them 
both to the machinations of a dragon. Nearly all the populations 
of Northern Asia hold the same opinion : the Tchuvashes use 
the phrase ' vubur siat/ daemon comedit (Guil. Schott de lingua 
Tschuw, p. 5) ; the Finns of Europe have a similar belief, the 
Esthonians say the sun or moon ' is being eaten/ and formerly 
they sought to hinder it by conjuring spells (Thorn. Hiiirn, Mitau 
1791 p. 39). The Lithuanians think a demon (Tiknis or Tiklis) 
attacks the chariot of the sun, then darkness arises, and all 
creatures are in fear lest the dear sun be worsted ; it has been 
staved off for a long time, but it must come to that at the end 
of the world (Narbutt 1, 127. 142). In eclipses of the moon, the 
Greenlanders carry boxes and kettles to the roofs of their houses, 
and beat on them as hard as they can (Cranz's Gronland 3, 294) . 
An English traveller says of the Moors in Africa : When the sun's 
eclipse was at its height, we saw the people running about as if 
mad, and firing their rifles at the sun, to frighten the monster who 
they supposed was wishing to devour the orb of day. The plains 
and heights of Tripoli resounded with the death- dirge (the cry 
1 wulliali wu ! '), and the same all along the coast. The women 
hanged copper vessels together, making such a din that it was 
heard leagues away (see Sappl.). l 

A Mongolian myth makes out that the gods determined to 
punish Arakho for his misdeeds, but he hid so effectually, that 
no one could find out his lurkingplace. They therefore asked 
the sun, who gave an unsatisfactory answer; but when they 
asked the moon, she disclosed his whereabouts. So Arakho was 
dragged forth and chastised ; in revenge of which, he pursues both 
sun and moon, and whenever he comes to hand-grips with one of 
them, an eclipse occurs. To help the lights of heaven in their 
sad plight, a tremendous uproar is made with musical and other 
instruments, till Arakho is scared away. 2 Here a noticeable 

1 Morgenblatt 1817 p. 159 a ; conf. Niebuhr's Beschr. Arab. 119. 120. 

2 Benj. Bergmanii's Nomad, streifereien 3, 41. Ace. to Georgii Alpbab. tibe- 
tan. p. 189, it is monsters called Tracehn, with their upper parts shaped like men, 
and the lower like snakes, that lie in wait for the sun and moon. [South of L. 
Baikal it is the king of hell that tries to swallow the moon.— Trass.] 


feature is the inquiry made of the sun and moon, who overlook 
the world and know all secrets (Castren's Myth. 62) . So in our 
fairytales the seeker asks of the sun, moon and stars (Kinderm. 
no. 25. 88 ; conf. 3, 218-9), some of whom are found helpful and 
sympathizing, others cruel and cannibal (Vuk no. 10). In Ser- 
vian songs the moon and the morning star (danitsa) hold a colloquy 
on the affairs of men (Yuk 3, 3). During an eclipse of the sun 
(I don't know whether of the moon also) our people cover the 
wells up, else their water would turn impure, Superst. I, 589. 

Is there a trace of moon-worship to be found in the fact that 
people had an image of the moon carved on rocks and stones that 
marked a boundary? In EA. 542 an Alamannic doc. of 1155 is 
given, which traces the custom all the way up to king Dagobert. 
In Westphalian docs, as late as the 17th cent. I find halfmonds- 
schnad-stones, 1 unless the word halfmoon here means something 

In Bavaria there is a Mondsee, OHG. Mdninseo (lunae lacus), 
in Austria a Mdnhart (lunae silva, tj Aovva v\w in Ptolemy); 3 we 
may safely credit both with mythic associations. 

As time is more easily reckoned by the changes of the moon, 
which visibly mark off the week (p. 126-7), than by the sun, our 
ancestors seem to have had, beside the solar year, a lunar one 
for common use, whose thirteen months answered to the twelve 
of the solar year. The recurring pei'iod of from 29 to 30 days 
was therefore called menops, mdnod, from mena, mano. Hence 
also it was natural to count by nights, not days : c nee dierum 
numerum sed noctium computant, sic constituunt, sic condicunt, 
nox ducere diem videtur/ Tac. Germ. c. 1.1. And much in the 
same way, the year was named by its winter, which holds the 
same relation to summer as night to day. A section of time was 
measured by the number of se'ennights, fortnights, months or 
winters it contained. 

And that is also the reason why the phases of the moon had 
such a commanding influence on important undertakings. They 
are what Jornandes cap. 11 calls lunae commoda incommodaque. 
It is true, the performance of any kind of work was governed by 

1 Defence of Wulften castle, Vienna 1766. suppl. p. 71-2. 162. 

2 Can Manhart have come from Maginhart ? Helbl. 13, 190 has Meinharts- 


the day and solar time, whether of warriors (RA. 297), or of 
servants (3.53), or of tribunals especially (814-6). If, on the 
other hand, some new and weighty matter was to be taken in 
hand, they consulted the moon; which does not mean that the 
consultation was held or the action begun in the night, but on 
those days whose nights had an auspicious phase of the moon : 
' coeunt, nisi quid fortuitum et subitum incident, certis dlebus, 
quum ant inchoatur luna aid impletur ; nam agendis rebus hoc 
auspicatissimum initium credunt/ Tac. Germ. 11. So in Tac. 
Ann. 1, 50 a nox illunis is chosen for a festival. 

Now the moon presents two distinct appearances, one each 
fortnight, which are indicated in the passage just quoted : either 
she is beginning her course, or she has attained her full orb of 
light. From the one point she steadily increases, from the other 
she declines. The shapes she assumes between are not so sharply 
defined to the sense. 

Her invisibility lasts only the one night between the disappear- 
ance of her last quarter and the appearance of her first, at new- 
moon (conjunction of sun and moon) ; in like manner, full-moon 
lasts from the moment she attains perfect sphericity till she loses 
it again. But in common parlance that ' nox illunis ' is included 
in the new-moon, and similarly the decline is made to begin 
simultaneously with the full. 

♦The Gothic for TravaeXvvov wa3 fullijjs m., or fullip n. (gen. pi. 
fulli]?e), from which we may also infer a niujips for vov^r/vla. 
Curiously, this last is rendered fulli]? in Col. 2, 16, which to my 
mind is a mere oversight, and not to be explained by the supposi- 
tion that the Goths looked upon full-moon as the grander festival. 
The AS. too must have called full-moon fi/Hecf, to judge by the 
iiame of the month ' winterfylliS,' which, says Beda (de temp, 
rat. 13), was so named 'ab hieme et plenilunio'; but the later 
writers have only niwe mona and full mona. So there may have 
been an OHG. niuwid and fullid, though we can only lay our 
finger on the neuters niunulni and folmam, 1 to which Graff 2, 222 
adds a niwilune; MHG. daz niumcene and volmoene, the last in 
Trist. 9464. 11086. 11513 (see SuppL). 

1 Also niuwer mano, N. ps. 80, 4. foller mano, pa. 88, 38. In Cap. 107-8 he 
uses vol and wan (empty), and in Cap. 147 hurnalu, lialbscafti/j and J'ol ; conf. Hel. 
Ill, 8 wanod olitho wahsid. 


Iii ON. the two periods are named by the neuters ' ny ok nicf,' 
habitually alliterating ; ny answers to novilunium, it signifies the 
new light, and nicT the declining, dwindling, from the lost root 
nrSa naft, from which also come the adv. nrSr (deorsum) and the 
noun na'S (quies, OHG. ginada). So that ny lasts from the begin- 
ning of the first quarter to the full, and ni3 from the decrease of 
the full to the extinction of light in the last quarter. The two 
touch one another at the border-line between the faintest streaks 
of waxing and of waning brightness. But nrS meant especially 
the absence of moonlight (interlunium), and nrSamyrkr total 
darkness (luna silens). Kind gods created these for men of old 
to tell the year by : ' ny ok nicf skopo nyt regin oldum at ar-tali,' 1 
Ssem. 34 a . ' Mani styrirgongu tungls, oc rae'Sr nyjum oc nicfum,' 
Sn. 12, Mani steers the going of the moon, and rules new moons 
and full. Probably even here personification comes into play, 
for in Voluspa 11 (Sasm. 2 b ) Nyji and Niffi are dwarfs, i.e. spirits 
of the sky, who are connected, we do not exactly know how, with 
those lunar phases ny ok niS. 3 Of changeful things it is said ( J>at 
gengr eptir nyum ok niSum/ res alternatur et subit lunae vices. 
O. Swed. laws have the formula ' ny oc nicfar,' for ' at all times, 
under any phase/ Gutalagh p. 108. So ' i ny ok nicTa,' Sudh. 
bygn. 32. Upl. vidh. 28, 1. Vestg. thiuv. 22, 1; but here the 
second word seems to have given up its neut. form, and passed 
into a personal and masc. Mod. Swed. has ' ny och nedan'*; 
Dan. ' ny og nee,' ' det gaaer efter nye og ncee' ' hverken i nye eller 
nee/ i.e. never, f naar nyet tandes/ quando nova luna incenditur; 
this nee was in 0. Dan. ned, need. To the niSamyrkr above 
answers a Swed. nedmork, pitchdark. The Norse terminology 
differs in so far from the H. Germ., that it expresses the total 
obscuration by nrS, while we designate it by neumond (i.e. ny) ; 
with us new-moon is opposed to full-moon, with the Scandina- 
vians niS to ny, each of them standing for one half of the moon's 
course. Since a mention of the first and last quarters has come 
into use, full-moon and new-moon signify simply the points of 
fullness and vacancy that lie between ; and now the Swedes and 
Danes have equally adopted a fullmane, fuldmaane, as counter- 

1 Ace. to Alvismal, the alfar call the moon artali (OHG. jarzalo ?), Sasm. 49 b . 

2 Comp. with ' ni'S ok nf ' the Gr. £vq km. via. 


part to nymane, nymaane, whereby the old ' ned, nae ' has become 
superfluous, and the meaning of c ny ' somewhat modified. 1 

Though the OHG. remains do not offer us a neuter niuivi, 2 such 
a form may have existed, to match the Noi'se ny, seeing that the 
Miilhausen statute of the 13th cent. (Grasshof p. 252), in granting 
the stranger that would settle in the town a month's time for the 
attempt, says ' ein nuwe und ein wedil, daz sint vier w T ochin : ' 
that Martin von Amberg's Beichtspiegel has ' das vol und das 
neu,' Dasypodius still later ' das newe, interlunium,' and Tobler 
331 w das neu, der wachsende mond.' For the waning moon, 
Tobler 404 b gives ' nid si gehender (going down)/ which reminds 
one of nicf; otherwise ' der schwined mo,' OHG. 'diu suinenta 
rnauin,' N. ps. 88, 38, its opposite being ' diu folia' (see Suppl.). 

I have yet to bring forward another expression of wide range 
and presumably old, which is used by turns for one and another 
phase of the moon's light, oftenest for plenilunium, but some- 
times also for interlunium : MHG. wedel : ' im was unkunt des 
manen wedel' Martina 181 c ; NHG. ivadel, wadel, but more among 
the common folk and in the chase than in written speech. Pic- 
torius 480, Staid. 2, 456, Tobler 441 b have wedel, ivadel full-moon, 
wadeln to become full-moon, when her horns meet, i.e., when she 
completes her circle. Keisersperg's Postille 138 b : ' ietz so ist er 
niiw, ietz fol, ietz alt, ietz die erst qvart, ietz die ander qvart, 
ietz ist es wedel ' ; here full-moon and wedel are not so clearly 
defined as in another passage of Keisersperg (Oberlin 1957) 
on March : ' wan es ist sein wedel, sein volmon.' In Dasy- 
podius : ' plenilunium, der volmon, wadel.' s The Germans in 
Bohemia commonly use ivadel for full-moon, and Schm. 4, 22 
produces other notable authorities. But the word is known in 
Lower Germany too ; Bohmer's Kantzow p. 2GG spells it ivadel, 4 

1 Modern Icel. names are: Many (black new, interlunium) ; prim (nova hum). 
also n5'qveikt tungl ; h&lfvaxid tungl (first quarter); fullt tungl (plenilunium); 
halfprotid t&ngl (hist quarter). Here too the old names have gone out of use, 
' Many ' replaces ni'5, and 'prim ' ny. 

- Notker's Capella 100 has ' manen niwi ' fern. 

3 Yet under luna he has ' plenilunium vollinon oder brurh,' 1 and the same under 
bruch (=abbruch) a breaking off, falling off, defectus ; which confirms my view, 
that we reckon the wane from full-moon itself (Wtb. 2, 408). Ace. to Muchar's 
Noricum 2, 36 the waxing and waning moon are called the gesunde and the kranke 
man (well and ill). 

4 Following Tacitus, he says, the Germani always chose either new or full-moon, 
for after the wadel they thought it unlucky. Wadel then comprehends the two phases 
of new and full moon, but seems to exclude those of the first and last quarter. 



the Brem. wtb. 5, 166 ' waal, vollmoncl ' (like aal for adel, a 
swamp), and Kilian f waedel, senium lunae/ From the phrase- 
ology of Superst. I, 973 one would take wadel to be a general 
name for the moon, whether waxing or waning, for ' the bad wadel ' 
[new-moon] surely implies a good wadel favourable to the oper- 
ation. Now wadel, ivedel means that which wags to and fro, and 
is used of an animal's tail, flabrum, flabellutn, cauda ; it must 
either, like zunga and tungl, refer to the tip or streak of light in the 
crescent moon, or imply that the moon cruises about in the sky. 1 
The latter explanation fits a passage in the AS. poem on Finnes- 
burg fight, line 14 : ' mi seined bes m6na ivacFol under wolcnum/ 
i.e., the moon walking [wading] among the clouds, waSol being 
taken for the adj. vagus, vagabundus. Probably even the OHGr. 
wadal was applied to the moon, as an adj. vagus (Graff 1, 776), 
or as a subst. flabellum (1, 662). But, as this subst. not only 
signifies flabellum [whisk], but fasciculus [wisp], the name may 
ultimately be connected with the bundle of brushwood that a 
myth (to be presently noticed) puts in the spots of the full-moon 
(see Suppl.). 

Lith. jdunas menu novilunium, pilnatis plenilunium, puspilis 
first quarter, pusdylis last qu., delczia luna decrescens, lit. trunca, 
worn away, tarpijos interlunium (from tarp, inter) ; puspilis 
means half-full, pusdylis half-worn, from the same root as delczia 
truncation, decrease. There is also a ' menu tusczias,' vacant 
moon ; and the sickle-shaped half-moon is called dalgakynos. 
Lettic : jauns mehnes novilun., pilna melines plenilun., mehnes 

punte luna accrescens, wezza melines 2 luna senescens. Finnic : 

uusikuu novil.j taysikuu plenil., yliJcuu luna accr., alakuu deer., 
formed with uusi novus, tiiysi plenus, yli superus, ala inferus, 

which supports our explanation of the ON. niS. The Servians 

divide thus : miyena novil., mladina luna accr., lit. young, puna 
plenil., ushtap luna deer. Sloven mlay, ml ad novil., pohia plenil., 
ship plenil., but no doubt also luna deer., from shipati to nip, 
impair. Pol. noiv and Boh. nowy novil., Pol. pelnia and Boh. 

i The Engl, waddle, which is the same word, would graphically express the 
oscillation of the (visible) moon from side to side of her path ; and if icedel meant 
that oscillation, it would apply equally to new and to full moon.— Trans. 

2 Wezza mehnes,' the old moon, In a Scotch ballad : ' I saw the new moon late 
yestreen wi' he auld moon in her aim.' Jamieson 1, 159. Percy 1, 78. Halliwell 
pp. 167-8. 


auplnelc plenil. Here we see another instance of the ruder races 
having more various and picturesque names for natural pheno- 
mena, which among the more cultivated are replaced by abstract 
and uniform ones. No doubt Teutonic speech iu its various 
branches once possessed other names beside n iff and wadel. 

Tacitus merely tells us that the Germani held their assemblies 
at new moon or full moon, not that the two periods were thought 
equally favourable to all enterprises without distinction. We may 
guess that some matters were more suitable to new moon, others 
to full ; the one would inspire by its freshness, the other by its 
fulness. 1 

Caesar 1, 50 reports to us the declaration of wise women in the 
camp of Ariovistus : f non esse fas Germanos superare, si ante 
novam lunam proelio contendissent.' A happy issue to the battle 
was expected, at all events in this particular instance, only if it 
were fought at new moon. 

As far as I can make out from later remnants of German 
superstition, with which that of Scotland should be compared 
(Chambers 35 b . 36 a ), new-moon, addressed by way of distinction 
as ' gracious lord ' p. 704, is an auspicious time for commence- 
ments properly speaking. Marriages are to be concluded in it, 
houses to be built : e novam lunam observasti pro domo facienda 
aut conjugiis sociandis ' (Sup. C, 193 b ), the latter just the same 
in Esth. Sup. no. 1. Into a new house you must move at new 
moon (Sup. I, 429), not at the wane (498) ; count money by the 
new moon (223), she will increase your store (conf. p. 704) ; on 
the other hand, she loves not to look into an empty purse (107). 
All through, the notion is that money, married bliss and house 
stores will thrive and grow with the growing light. So the hair 
and nails are cut at new-moon (French Sup. 5. Schiitze's Hoist. 
id. 3, 68), to give them a good chance of growing; cattle are 
weaned in the waxing light (I, 757), in the waning they would 
get lean; Lith. Sup. 11 says, let girls be weaned at the wane, 

1 New-moon was peculiarly holy to ancient peoples, thus to the Greeks the eurj 
Kai via, which was also expressed by iv-rj alone = Sanskr. anni (uew inoon). The 
return of Odysseus was expected at that season, Od. 14, 102 : 

tou ixkv (pOivovros /xrivos, tou b" lara^ivoLO. 

Rama's birth is fixed for the new-moon after vernal equinox (Schlegel on Rainav. 
i. 19, 2). Probably bealteinc were lighted at this new-moon of spring. 


boys at the full, probably to give the one a slim elegant figure, 
and the other a stout and strong. Healing herbs and pure dew- 
are to be gathered at new-moon (tou an ties mdnen niwi gelesen, 
N. Cap. 100, conf. 25), for then they are fresh and unalloyed. 
When it says in I, 764 that weddings should take place at full- 
moon, and in 238 that a new dwelling should be entered with the 
waxing or full moon, this full-moon seems to denote simply th« 
utmost of the growing light, without the accessory notion of 
incipient decline. If our ancestors as a rule fought their battles 
at new-moon, they must have had in their eye the springing 
up of victory to themselves, not the defeat and downfall of 
the enemy. 1 

Kb full-moon (as opposed to new), i.e. by a waning light, you 
were to perform operations involving severance or dissolution, 
cutting down or levelling. Thus, if I understand it rightly, a 
marriage would have to be annulled, a house pulled down, a 
pestilence stamped out, when the moon is on the wane. Under 
this head comes in the rule to cut wood in the forest when it is 
wadel, apparently that the timber felled may dry. In a Calendar 
printed by Hupfuff, Strasb. 1511 : ' with the moon's wede] 'tis 
good to begin the hewing of wood.'' The same precept is still 
given in many modern forest-books, and full-moon is therefore 
called holz-wadel : ' in the bad wadel (crescent moon) fell no 
timber/ Sup. I, 973. In Keisersperg's Menschl. baum, Strasb. 
1521, 19 : ' Alway in wedel are trees to be hewn, and game to be 
shot.' 3 Grass is not to be mown at new, but at full moon (Lith. 
Sup. 7); that the hay may dry quickly? and treasures must be 
lifted at full-moon. If a bed be stuffed when the moon is grow- 
ing, the feathers will not lie (I, 372. 914) ; this operation too 
requires a waning light, as if to kill the new-plucked feathers 
completely, and bring them to rest. If you open trenches by 
a waxing moon, they will soon grow together again ; if by a 
waning, they keep on getting deeper and wider. To open a vein 
with the moon declining, makes the blood press downwards and 

1 The Estlionians say to the new-moon : ' Hail, moon ! may you grow old, and 
I keep young ! ' Thorn. Hiarne p. 40. 

2 In Demerara grows a tree like the mahogany, called walala ; if cut down at 
new-moon, the wood is tough and hard to split, if at full, it is soft and splits easily. 
Bamboo planks cut at new-moon last ten years, those cut at full-moon rot within 
the year. 



load the legs (Tobler 404 b ) ; set about it therefore by the mount- 
ing moonlight. Vuk sub v. miyena says, the Servian women will 
wash never a shirt at new-moon, they declare all the linen would 
get mooned (omiyeniti) in the water, i.e. bulge and pucker, and 
soon tear; one might find another reason too for washing by 
the waning moon, that stains and dirt should disappear with the 
dwindling light (see Suppl.). 

Behind superstitious practices I have tried to discover a 
meaning, which may possibly come near their original signifi- 
cation. Such symbolical coupling of means and end was at all 
events not foreign to antiquity anywhere : the holy water floats 
all misfortune away with it (p. 589), the spray from the mill wheel 
scatters all sickness (p. 593). So the sufferer stands with his 
face to the waning moon, and prays : ' as thou decreasest, let my 
pains diminish ' (I, 2 15) ; he can also go on the other tack, and 
cry to the new moon : ' may what I see increase, and what I suffer 
cease ' (492) . Turning the face toward the luminary I take to 
be a relic of heathen moon-worship. 1 

Superstitions of this kind have long been banished to the 
narrower limits of agriculture and cattle-breeding; we should 
arrive at a clearer knowledge of them, had their bearing on 
public life been described for us in early times. Observation of 
the lunar changes must in many ways have influenced sacrifices, 
the casting of lots and the conduct of war. Some things now 
appear bewildering, because we cannot review all the circum- 
stances, and some no doubt were different in different nations. 
German superstition (I, 856) thinks it a calamity for the master 
of the house to die during the moon's decline, for then the whole 
family will fall away ; the Esthonian view (41) is, that a death at 
new-moon is unlucky, perhaps because more will follow ? Fruits 
that grow above ground are to be sown at the waxing, those under 
ground at the waning (Jul. Schmidt p. 122) ; not so Westendorp 
p. 129: 'dat boven den grond wast, by a/nemende maan, dat 
onder den grond wast, by foenemende maan te zaaien/ Gutslaf 
(Wohhanda p. 49, conf. errata) remarks, that winter-crops are 
not to be sown while the moon stands at the idle quarter (third, 

1 Whoever at play turns bis back to the moon, has had lack (I, 801). But the 
seaman iu his hammock takes care not to face the full-moon, lest he be struck with 


kus se kuk maal). In the sermon of Eligius (Sup. A), the 
sentence ' nee lona nova quisquam timeat aliquid operis arripere' 
is unintelligible so long as we do not know what sort of operation 
is meant. 

The spots or shady depressions on the full-moon's disc have 
given rise to grotesque but similar myths in several nations. To 
the common people in India they look like a hare, i.e. Chandras 
the god of the moon carries a hare (sasa), hence the moon is 
called sasin or sasanka, hare mark or spot. 1 The Mongolian 
doctrine also sees in these shadows the figure of a hare." Bogdo 
Jagjamuni or Shigemuni [the Buddha Sakya-muni], supreme 
ruler of the sky, once changed himself into a hare, simply to 
serve as food to a starving traveller ; in honour of which meri- 
torious deed Khormusta, whom the Mongols revere as chief of 
the tenggri [genii], placed the figure of a hare in the moon. 
The people of Ceylon relate as follows : While Buddha the great 
god sojourned upon earth as a hermit, he one day lost his way 
in a wood. He had wandered long, when a hare accosted him : 
' Cannot I help thee ? strike into the path on thy right, I will 
guide thee out of the wilderness/ Buddha replied : ' Thank 
thee, but I am poor and hungry, and unable to repay thy kind- 
ness/ ' If thou art hungry/ said the hare, ' light a fire, and kill, 
roast and eat me.' Buddha made a fire, and the hare immediately 
jumped in. Then did Buddha manifest his divine power, he 
snatched the beast out of the flames, and set him in the moon, 
where he may be seen to this day. 3 To the Greenlander's fancy 
these spots are the marks of Marina's fingers, with which she 
touched the fine reindeer pelisse of Anninga (Majer's Myth, 
taschenb. 1811. p. 15). 

An ON. fable tells us, that Mani (the moon) took two children, 
Bil and Hiuki, away from the earth, just as they were drawing 
water from the well Byrgir, and carrying the pail Seegr on the 
pole Simul between their shoulders. These children walk behind 

1 Schlegel's Ind. bibl. 1, 217. Ace. to Bopp's Gloss. 346% a Sanskrit name for 
the moon means lepore praeditus, leporem gerens. 

2 Bergmann's Streifer. 3, 40. 204. Majer's Myth. wtb. 1, 540. 

3 Douce's Illustr. of Shaksp. 1, 16 from the lips of a French traveller, whose 
telescope tbe Cingalese had often borrowed, to have a good look at the hare in the 


Maui, as one may see from the earth (sva sem sia ma af ioriui), 
Sn. 12. That not the moon's phases but her spots are here 
meant, is plain enough from the figure itself. No change of the 
moon could suggest the image of two children with a pail slung 
on their shoulders. Moreover, to this day the Swedish people see 
in the spots of the moon two persons carrying a big bucket on 
a pole} Bil was probably a girl, and Hiuki a boy, the former 
apparently the same as the asynja named together with Sol in 
Sn. 39 ; there it is spelt Bil, but without sufficient reason ; the 
neuter ' bil ' signifies momentum, interstitium, a meaning that 
would suit any appearance of the moon (conf. p. 374 on OHG. 
pil). What is most important for us, out of this heathen fancy 
of a kidnapping man of the moon, which, apart from Scandinavia, 
was doubtless in vogue all over Teutondom, if not farther, there 
has evolved itself since a christian adaptation. They say the 
man in the moon is a woocl-stealer, who during church time on 
the holy sabbath committed a trespass in the wood, and was then 
transported to the moon as a punishment; there he may be seen 
with the axe on his bach and the bundle of brushivood (dornwelle) 
in his hand. Plainly enough the water-pole of the heathen story 
has been transformed into the axe's shaft, and the carried pail 
into the thornbush ; the general idea of theft was retained, but 
special stress laid on the keeping of the christian holiday ; the 
man suffers punishment not so much for cutting firewood, as 
because he did it on a Sunday. 3 The interpolation is founded on 
Numb. 15, 32-6, where we are told of a man that gathered 
sticks on the sabbath, and was stoned to death by the congrega- 
tion of Israel, but no mention is made of the moon and her spots. 
As to when this story first appeared in Germany I have no means 
of telling, it is almost universally prevalent now; 3 in case the 
full-moon's name of wadel. wedel in the sense of a bunch of twigs 4 

1 Dalin 1, 158: men annu fins den meningen bland var almoge. Ling's 
Eddornas sinnebildslara 1, 78: annu sager alliniinheten i Sodraswerge, att manens 
flackar aro tvenne varelser, som bara en bryggsa (bridge-bucket, shin- 

- A Westphalian story says, the man dressed the church With thorns on 
Sunday, and was therefore put, bundle and all, into the moon. 

:( Hebel has made a pretty song about it, pp. 86-9: 'me net em gsait der 
Dietrrlr,' on which Schm. 2, 583 asks : is this Dietrich of Bern, translated in 
classi • fashion to the sky? We must first make sure that the poet found the name 
already in the tradition. 

4 In the Henneberg distr. wadel means brushwood, twigs tied up in a bundle, 
esp. fir-twigs, wadeln to tie up brushwood (Reinwald 2, 137) ; this may however 
come from the practice of cutting wood at full-moon. 


has itself arisen out of the story (p. 712), it must be of pretty 
high antiquity. In Tobler's Appenzell sprachsch. 20 b we are 
told : An arma ma (a poor man) het alawil am sonnti holz 
ufg'lesa (picked up wood). Do hed em der Hebe Gott d'wahl 
g'loh (let him choose), 6b er lieber wott i' der sonn verbrenna, 
oder im mo' verfrura (burn in sun, or freeze in moon. Var. : 
inm kalta mo' ihi, oder i' d' holl abi). Do will* er lieber in'n mo' 
ihi. Dromm sied ma' no' ietz an' ma' im mo' inna, wenn's wedel 
ist. Br hed a' piischeli uff 'em rogga (bush on his back). Kuhn's 
Mark, sagen nos. 27. 104. 130 give us three different accounts : 
in one a broom- maker has bound twigs (or a woman has spun) on 
a Sunday, in another a man has spread manure, in the third he 
has stolen cabbage-stumps ; and the figure with the bunch of 
twigs (or the spindle), with the dungfork, with the cabbage- stalk, 
is supposed to form the spots in the moon. The earliest authority 
I know of is Fischart's Garg. 1 30 b : ' sab im mon ein mannlin, 
das holz gesfohlen hett ; ' Praetorius says more definitely, Welt- 
beschr. 1, 447 : the superstitious folk declared the dark spots on 
the moon to be the man that gathered sticks on the sabbath and 
was stoned therefor. The Dutch account makes the man steal 
vegetables, so he appears in the moon with the ' bundel moes ' on 
his shoulders (Westendorp p. 129). The English tradition seems 
pretty old. Chaucer in his Testament of Creseide 260-4 de- 
scribes the moon as lady Cynthia : 

Her gite (gown) was gray and ful of spottis blake, 

and on her brest a chorl paintid ful even 

bering a bush of thornis on his balce, 

■which for his theft might clime no ner the heven. 

In Kitson's Anc. songs (Lond. 1790), p. 35 is a ' song upon 
the man in the moon/ beginning thus : 

Mon in the mone stond and strit (standeth and strideth), 

on his botforhe is burthen he bereth ; 

hit is muche wonder that he na donn slyt (slideth), 

for doutelesse he valle, he shoddreth and shereth, 

when the forst freseth much chele he byd (chill he bideth) ; 

the thomes beth kene, is hattren to-tereth. 

Shivering with cold, he lugs on his fork a load of thorns, which 
tear his coat, he had cut them down and been impounded by the 
forester; the difficult and often unintelligible song represents 


him as a lazy old man, who walks a bit and stands a bit, and 
is drunk as well; not a word about desecration of the sabbath. 
Shakspeare alludes more than once to the man in the moon ; 
Tempest ii. 2 : ' I was the man i' th' moon, when time was ' . . . 
' I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee : my mistress shewed 
me thee and thy dog and thy hush.' Mids. N. Dr. iii. 1 : ' One 
must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say he 
comes to present the person of Moonshine.' In Gryphius too 
the player who acts the moon ties a bush round his body (conf. 
Ir. elfenm. no. 20). 

Two more, and those conflicting, interpretations of the moon's 
spots are likewise drawn from the Bible. Either it is Isaac bear- 
ing a burthen of wood for the sacrifice of himself on Mount Moriah 
(Praetor. Weltbeschr. 1, 44.7) ; or it is Cain carrying a bundle of 
thorns on his shoulders, and offering to the Lord the cheapest gift 
from his field. 1 This we find as far back as Dante, Parad. 2, 50. 

die sono i segni bui 
di questo corpo, che laggiuso in terra 
fan di Gcvin favoleggiare altrui ? 

And Inferno 20, 126 : Gaino e le spine. On this passage Landino 
remarks : ' cioe la luna, nella quale i volgare vedendo una certa 
ombra, credono che sia Caino, c' habbia in spalla una foreata di 
'pruni.' And another commentator: f accommodandosi alia favola 
del volgo, che sieno quelle macchie Caino, che inahi una foreata 
di s j tine* 

Nearly all these explanations agree in one thing: they suppose 
the spots to be a human figure carrying something on its shoulder, 
whether a hare, a pole and bucket, an axe and thorns, or the load 
of thorns alone. 2 A wood-stealer or fratricide accounts for the 
spots of the moon, as a chaff-stealer (p. 357) does for the streaks 
in the milky way. 

There must have been yet more traditions. A Netherl. poet 
of the 14th century speaks of the dark stripes that stand 

1 The story of the first fratricide seems to have made a peculiarly deep im- 
pression on the new converts from heathenism ; they fancy him a wicked giant, 
conf. Beow. 213 seq., and supra p. 525. 

3 Water, an essential part of the Norse myth, is wanting in the story of the 
man with the thornbush, but it re-appears in the Carniolan story (for kramerisch 
read kraineriech) cited in Brentano's Libussa p. 421 : the man in the moon is called 
Kotar, he makes her grow by pouring water. 


reclit iut midden van der mane, 
dat men in duitsche beet ludergheer ; 

in another passage it is lendegher 1 (for leudegher?); and Willems 
in Messager de Gand, 1, 195, following a MS. of 1351, reads, f dat 
men in dietsch heet lodegeer ;' but none of these forms is intel- 
ligible to me. Perhaps the proper name Ludger, Leodegarius, 
OHG. Liutker, has to do with it, and some forgotten legend of 
the Mid. Ages. A touching religious interpretation is handed 
down by Berthold 145, surely not invented by himself, that the 
moon is Mary Magdalene, and the spots her tears of repentance 
(see Suppl.). 

The Sun has had a slighter influence than the moon on super- 
stitious notions and observances. Magical herbs must be 
gathered, if not by moonlight, at least before sunrise (p. G21), 
and healing waters be drawn before sunrise (p. 586). The 
mounting sun dispels all magic, and bids the spirits back to their 
subterranean abode. 

Twice in the year the sun changes his course, in summer to 
sink, in winter to rise. These turning-points of the sun were 
celebrated with great pomp in ancient times, and our St. John's 
or Midsummer fires are a relic of the summer festival (p. 617 
seq.). The higher North, the stronger must have been the im- 
pression produced by either solstice, for at the time of the sum- 
mer one there reigns almost perpetual day, and at the winter one 
perpetual night. Even Procopius (ed. Bonn. 2, 206) describes 
how the men of Thule, after their 35 days' night, climb the 
mountain-tops to catch sight of the nearing sun. Then they 
celebrate their holiest feast (see Suppl.). 

Tacitus tells us (cap. 45), that the sun after setting shoots up 
such a radiance over the Suiones, that it pales the stars till 
morning. ' Sonum insuper audiri, formas deorum et radios capitis 
aspici, persuasio adjicit.' I would have turned this passage to 
account in Chap. VI., as proving the existence of Germanic gods, 

7 Van "Wyn's Avondstonden 1, 306. Bilderdijk's Yerklarende gestachtlijst der 
naamworden 2, 198 has ludegeer, ludegaar, and explains it, no doubt wrongly, as 
luikenaar (leodiensis). However, he tells the old story : ' 't rnannetjen in de maan, 
dat gezegd werd een doornbosch op zijn rug te heben, en om dat by 't gestolen had, 
met hooger ten hemel te mogen opklimmeD, maar daar ingebannen te zijn.' Exactly 
as in Chaucer. 


had it not seemed credible that such accounts may not have 
reached the Romans from Germany itself, but been spread among 
them by miscellaneous travellers' tales. Strabo 8, 1 (Tsch. 1, 
308) quotes from Posidonius a very similar story of the noise 
made by the setting sv/n in the sea between Spain and Africa: 
fxei^o) Svveiv tov i'fktov ev rfj irapwKeavLTihi fxeTa ■^r6(j>ov TTapairXr)- 
<rico<}, coaavel ai^ovros rod TreXdyovi kclto, afieaiv avrov hca to 
e/jLTriineiv et? tov j3v66v. But the belief may even then have 
prevailed among Germans too ; the radiant heads, like a saint's 
glory, were discussed at p. 323, and I will speak of this mar- 
vellous music of the rising and setting sun in the next chapter. 
Meanwhile the explanation given of the red of morning and 
evening, in the old AS. dialogue between Saturn and Solomon 
(Thorpe's Anal. p. 100), is curious : ' Saga me, forhwan byS seo 
sunne redd on cefen?'' 'Ic ]?e secge, for]?on heo locaS on helle.' 
' Saga me, hwi scineS heo swa redde on morgene ?' ' Ic ]?e secge, 
for]>on hyre twynaS hwaaSer heo rnaag cSe [orig. )>e] ne masg 
]nsne middaneard eondiscinan swa hyre beboden is.' The sun 
is red at even, for that she looketh on hell ; and at morn, for 
that she doubteth whether she may complete her course as she is 

Not only about the sun and moon, but about the other stars, 
our heathen antiquity had plenty of lore and legend. It is a very 
remarkable statement of Jornandes cap. 11, that in Sulla's time 
the Goths under Dicenaeus, exclusive of planets and signs of the 
zodiac, were acquainted with 344 stars that ran from east to west. 
How many could we quote now by their Teutonic names ? 

The vulgar opinion imagines the stars related to each individual 
man as friend or foe. 1 The constellation that shone upon his birth 
takes him under its protection all his life through ; this is called 
being born under a good or lucky star. From this guidance, this 
secret sympathy of dominant constellations, fate can be foretold. 
Conversely, though hardly from native sources, it is said in the 
Renner 10981 that every star has an angel who directs it to the 
place whither it should go. 

1 Swera die sternen werdent gram, 
dein wirt der indue lihte alsam. Frid. 108, 3. 


There is a pious custom of saluting the celestial luminaries 
before going to bed at night (Sup. I, 112), and among the Mod. 
Greeks, of offering a prayer when the evening star is on the rise. 

According to the Edda, all the stars were sparks of fire from 
Muspells-heim, that flew about the air at random, till the gods 
assigned them seats and orbits, Sn. 9. Seem. 1. 

Ignited vapours, which under a starry sky fall swiftly through 
the air like fiery threads — Lat. trajectio stellae, stella transvolans, 
Ital. stella cadente, Fr. etoile filante, Span, estrella vaga, Swed. 
stjernfall, Dan. stiernskud (star-shoot)., what the Greeks call 
Suiyeiv trajicere — are by our people ascribed to a trimming of 
the stars' light ; they are like the sparks we let fall in snuffing a 
candle. We find this notion already in Wolfram's Wh. 322, 18 : 

Dehein sterne ist so lieht, No star so bright 

emfiirbe sich etswenne.' 1 but trims itself somewhen. 

Hence our phrase of ' the stars snuffing themselves/ and our 
subst. sternputze, stemschnuppe. These falling stars are ominous, 2 
and whoever sees them should say a prayer (Sup. I, 595) : to the 
generous girl who has given away her all, they bring down with 
them [or turn into] gold-pieces (Kinderm. 153) ; nay, whatever 
wish you form while the snuff is falling, is fulfilled (Tobler 408 b ). 
The Lithuanians beautifully weave shooting stars into the fate- 
mythus : the verpeya (spinneress) begins to spin the thread of the 
new-born on the sky, and each thread ends in a star ; when a man 
is dying, his thread snaps, and the star turns pale and drops 
(Narbutt, 1, 71). 

A comet is called tail-star, hair-star in Aventin 74 b . 119 b , 
peacock-tail (Schm. 1, 327) ; and its tail in Detmar 1, 242 schin- 
scliove, from schof a bundle of straw. Its appearing betokens 
events fraught with peril, especially the death of a king (Greg, 
tur. 4, 9) : ' man siht an der zit einen sterren, sam einen pfawen 
zagel wit (wide as a peacock's tail), so miiezen siben sachen in 
der werlt ergan,' MsH. 3, 468 h (see Suppl.). 

Our old heathen fancies about the fixed stars have for the most 
part faded away, their very names are almost all supplanted by 

1 MS. n. reads ' subere sich.' Even OHG. has farban (umiulare, expiare). 

2 So with the Greeks (Reinh. fuchs p. lxxii.). In a poem of Beranger: ' mon 
enfant, un mortel expire, son etoile tonibe a l'instant.' 


learned astronomic appellations ; only a few have managed to 
save themselves in ON. legend or among the common people. 

Whether the planets were named after the great gods, wo 
cannot tell : there is no trace of it to be found even in the North. 
Planet-names for days of the week seem to have been imported, 
though very early, from abroad (p. 126 seq.) Other reasons 
apart, it is hardly conceivable that the heathen, who honoured 
certain fixed stars with names of their own, should not have 
distinguished and named the travelling stars, whose appearances 
and changes are so much more striking. The evening and 
morning Venus is called evening star, morning 'sta/r, OHG. a/pant- 
sterno, tagastemo, like the Lat. vesper and lucifer. 1 The turikel- 
steme in Ms. 1, 38 b seems to be vesperugo, the eveningstar be- 
ginning to blaze in the twilight, conf. Gramm. 2, 526. An OHG. 
iihfosterno morningstar, N. Bth. 223, is from uhta, Goth, uhtvo 
crepusculum. Gl. Trev. 22 b have stelbom hesperus; can this be 
stellbaum, the bird-catcher's pole? But in Rol. 240,27 'die 
urmaren stalboume ' stands for stars in general, and as every star 
was provided with stool or stand (p. 700-1), we may connect stel- 
boum, stalboum with this general meaning. There is perhaps 
more of a mythic meaning in the name nahtfare for eveningstar 
(Heumanni opusc. 453. 460), as the same word is used of the witch 
or wise-woman out on her midnight jaunt. The Anglo-Saxons 
called the eveningstar swdna steorra (bubulcorum stella), because 
the swains drove their herd home when it appeared. Again, in 
0. iv. 9, 24 Christ is compared to the sun, and the apostles to 
the eleven daystars, ' dagasterron ' here meaning not so much 
luciferi as the signs of the zodiac. There are no native names 
for the polar star (see Suppl.) . 

Twice the Edda relates the origin of particular stars, but no 
one knows now what constellations are' meant. The legend of 
Orvandils-td and the AS. Earendel, OHG. Orentil, has been cited, 
p. 374; this bright luminary may have meant the morningstar. 
Then the ases, having slain the giant Thiassi, had to atone for it 
to his daughter SkaSi. Ooinn took Thiassi's eyes and threw 
them against the sky, where they formed two stars, Sn. 82-3. 
These a/ugu Tldassa are most likely two stars that stand near 

1 In an old church-hymn Lucifer is provided with a chariot: cuxrus jam poscit 
phosphorus (reita giu fergdt tagastern), Hyuin. 2, 3. 


each other, of equal size and brightness, perhaps the Twins ? 
This is another instance of the connexion we found between stars 
and eyes ; and the toe translated to heaven is quite of a piece 
with the f tongues ' and the correspondence of the parts of the 
body to the macrocosm, p. 568 (see Suppl.). 

The milky-way and its relation to Irmin I have dealt with, 
pp. 356-8. 

Amongst all the constellations in our sky, three stand pro- 
minent to the popular eye : Ursa major, Orion and the Pleiades. 
And all of them are still known by native names ; to which I 
shall add those in use among the Slavs, Lithuanians and Finns, 
who give them the same place of honour as we do. 

The Great Bear was doubtless known to our ancestors, even 
before their conversion, as waggon, wain; which name, un- 
borrowed, they had in common with kindred [Aryan] nations, 
and therefore it is the common people's name for it to this 
day : they say, at dead of night the heavenly wain turns round 
with a great noise, conf. p. 745. So the Swiss (Tobler 264 a ) : 
when the herra-waga stands low, bread is cheap, when high, it is 
dear. 0. v. 17, 29 uses the pi. c wag and gistelli/ meaning at 
once the greater waggon and the less ; which last (Ursa minor) 
Berthold calls the wegelin. 1 So ' des wagenes gerihte/ Wackern. 
lb. 772, 26. It comes of a lively way of looking at the group, 
which circling round the polar star always presents the appear- 
ance of four wheels and a long slanting pole, deichsel (terno), on 
the strength of which the AS. sometimes has }>id alone : wannes 
J?isla (thill), Boeth. Bawlins. 192 b . Eeferences are given at 
p. 151, also the reasons for my conjecture that the waggon meant 
is that of Wuotan the highest god. True, an 0. Swed. chronicle 
connects the Swed. name harlwagen with Tkorr, who stepping 
into his chariot holds the seven stars in his hand (Thor statt 
naken som ett barn, siu stjernor i handen och Karlewagn), which 
I will not absolutely deny; but it is Woden stories in particular 
that are transferred to the Frankish Charles (p. 153). When 
in Gl. Jun. 188 f Arturus ' is rendered wag an (though Gl. Hrab. 

1 Ich ban den glanzen himelwagen und daz gestirne besehen, Troj. 19062. 
There may for that matter be several himelwagens, as there were many gods with 
cars. Cervantes too, in a song of the gitanilla (p. m. 11), says : Si en el cielo hay 
estrellas, que lucieiUes carrus forman. 


951 b has 'arctus' the bear = wagan in Tiimile), that is explained 
by the proximity of the star to the Great Bear's tail, as the very 
name up/crovpos shews. 1 I have to add, that Netherland cities 
(Antwerp, Groningeu) have the stars of the Great or the Lesser 
Bear on their seals (Messager de Gaud 3, 339), and in England 
the Charles-wain is painted on the signboards of taverns. 

The Greeks have both names in use, apic-os bear, and apa^a 
waggon, the Romans both ursa and plaustrum, as well as a 
septentrio or septentriones from trio, plough-ox. Fr. char, charriot, 
Ital. Span, carro. Pol. woz (plaustrum), woz niebieski (heavenly 
wain), Boh. wos, and at the same time oglea (thill, sometimes og, 
wog) for Bootes j the Illyrian Slavs kola, pi. of kolo wheel, there- 
fore wheels, i.e. wain, but in their Icola rodina and rodokola 2 I 
cannot explain the adjuncts rodo, rodina. Lith. gryzulio rats, 
gryzdo rats, from ratas (rota), while the first word, unexplained 
by Mielcke, must contain the notion of waggon or heaven ; 3 Lett. 
ratti (rotae). Esth. wanhri tahhed, waggon-stars, from wanker 
(currus) ; Hung, g'&ntzbl szekere, from szeker (currus), the first 
word being explained in ' Hungaria in parabolis ' p. 48 by a 
mythic Gontzal, their first waggoner. Prominent in the Fiunish 
epos are paiwa the sun, Jcuu the moon, and otawa, which Castren 
translates karla-vagnen, they are imagined as persons and divine, 
and often named together ; the Pleiades are named seidainen. 

Never, either in our OHG. remains, or among Slavs, Lithu- 
anians and Finns, 4 do we find the name borrowed from the 
animal (ursa), though these nations make so much of the bear 
both in legend and perhaps in worship (p. 668). 

The carro menor is called by Spanish shepherds bocina, bugle ; 5 
by Icelanders fiosakonur a lopti, milkmaids of the sky, Biorn sub 
v. F. Magnusen's Dag. tid. 104-5 (see Suppl.). 

1 [From ofyos keeper, not ovpd tail] . 'ApK7-o0jXa£ [bear-ward, or as we might 
say] Waggoner, is Bootes, of whom Greek fable bas much to tell. Axcturus stands 
in Bootes, and sometimes for Bootes. An OHG. gloss, Diut. 1. 167*, seems 
curiously to render Bootes by stuffala, Graff 6, 662. Is this stuphila, stipula, 
stubble ? 

'-' Bosnian Bible, Ofen 1831. 3, 154. 223. In Vuk roda is stork, whence the 
adj. rodin, but wbat of tbat ? This roda seems to be rota, rad, wheel over again. 

3 Litb. Bible, Konigsb. 1816, has in Job ( J, 9 gryzo wezimmas ; gryzdas, 
grizulas is thill, and wezimmas waggon. 

4 Can this be reconciled with the statement, p. 729, that Finn, otawa = bear? 
The Mongol, for bear is utege. — Trans. 

6 Don Quixote 1, 20 (ed. Ideler 1, 232 ; conf. 5, 261). 


The small, almost invisible star just above the middle one in 
the waggon's thill has a story to itself. It is called waggoner, 
hind, in Lower Germany dilmeke, thumbkin, dwarf, Osnabr. 
diimke, Meckl. duming, in Holstein 'Hans Dilmken, Hans D it mid 
sitt opm wagn.' They say that once a waggoner, having given 
our Saviour a lift, was offered the kingdom of heaven for his 
reward ; but he said he would sooner be driving from east to 
west to all eternity (as the wild hunter wished for evermore to 
hunt) . His desire was granted, there stands his waggon in the 
sky, and the highest of the three thill-stars, the ' rider ' so-called, 
is that waggoner. Another version in Miillenhoffs Schles. Hoist, 
sagen no. 484. I daresay the heathen had a similar fiction about 
Wodan's charioteer. Joh. Praetorius De suspecta poli declina- 
tione, Lips. 1675, p. 35: ' qui hanc stellam non pi-aeteriissent, 
etiamsi minor quam Alcor, das kneeldgen, der dilmeke, das reuter- 
lein, knecldjink fuisset; ' and again on the thief's thumb, p. 140 : 
' fabula de pollicari aitriga, dilmeke, fuhrman.' That the same 
fancy of the waggoner to this constellation prevails in the East, 
appears from Niebuhr's Arabia, and the Hungarian Gontzol seems 
closely related to him ; in Greek legend likewise Zeus places the 
waggon's driver (/;y/o^o?) or inventor JEJrichthonius among the 
stars, though not in the Great Bear, but between Perseus and 
the Twins in the galaxy. The Bohemian formdnek, wozatag 
(auriga) or bowozmj signify Arcturus, Bootes and Erichthonius 
(Jungm. 1, 550. 3, 401), and palecky it wozit thumblings on 
waggon. But in Slovenic, it seems, hervor (Murko 85. Jarnik 
229 b ) and burovzh mean the waggoner and the Polar Star. 

The cluster of brilliant stars in which the Greeks recognised 
the figure of Orion x had various Teutonic names, the reasons of 
which are not always clear to us now. First, the three stars in 
a line that form Orion's belt are called in Scandinavia Friggjar- 
rockr, Friggerok (pp. 270. 302-3), and also by transfer to Mary 
Mariarok, Marirok (Peter Syv in the Danske digtek. middelald. 
1, 102), Mariteen; here is plain connecting of a star-group with 
the system of heathen gods. The same three stars are to this 
day called by the common folk in Up. Germany the three mowers, 
because they stand in a row like mowers in a meadow : a homely 

1 Our MHG. poets adopt Orion without translating it, MS. 1, 37\ The 
Romans, ace. to Varro and Festus, called it Jugula, it is not known why. 


designation, like that of waggon, which arose in the childlike 
fancy of a pastoral people. OHG. glosses name Orion pjiuoc 
(aratrum), and in districts on the Rhine he is called the rake 
(rastrum) : he is a tool of the husbandman or the mower. The 
Scotch pleuch, Engl, plough, is said of Charles's wain. Some 
AS. (perhaps more OS.) glosses translate Orion by eburdring, 
ebur&ntng, eblnlring, ebirthiring (Gl. Jun. 309. 371), l which in 
pure AS. would have been eofor'Sryng, eforSring ; it can mean 
nothing but boar-throng, since kryng, as well as ]?rang, Mid. 
Lat. drungus, is turba. How any one came to see a herd of wild 
boars in the group, or which stars of Orion it included, I do not 
know : the wild huntsman of the Greek legend may have nothing 
to do with it, as neither that legend nor the group as seen by 
Greek eyes includes any hunted animal ; the boars of the Teutonic 
constellation have seemingly quite a different connexion, and 
perhaps are founded on mere comparison. OHG. glosses give 
us no ejpurdrunc, but its relation to Iuwaring and Iring was 
pointed out, p. 359 note. In the latter part of the Mid. Ages 
our ' three mowers ' or the Scandinavian ' Mary's distaff ' is called 
Jacobs-stab, Boh. Jahubahul ; the heathenish spindle, like the 
heathenish Irmin-street (p. 357 note), is handed over to the 
holy apostle, who now staff in hand, paces the same old heavenly 
path ; in some parts Peter's staff is preferred. The Esthonians 
call Orion warda Uihhed, spear stars, from ' wardas ' spear, and 
perhaps staff, like St. James's staff. The Lithuanians szenpjuivis, 
hay-star? from 'szen' foenum (Nesselmann 515), as August is 
called szenpjutis ; because the constellation rises at hay-harvest ? 
perhaps also with reference to the f three-mowers ' ? for in the 
same way several Slav nations have the name kosi scythes, Boh. 
Icosy (Jungm. 2, 136), Pol. Jcosy (Linde 1092 a ), Sloven, lcoszi 
(Murko 142) mowers. Other Slavic names of Orion are shtupka 
(Bosn. Bible, 3, 154), for which we ought to read shtapka, in Vuk 
shtaha crutch, crosier, from our stiibchen, Carniol. pdlize staves, 
in Stulli babini sctapi old wives' staves; and kruzilice, 2 wheelers, 
rovers? from 'kruziti' vagari (see Suppl.). 

1 The second passage has ' eburdnung,' an error, but an evidence of the MS.'s 
age, for in the 8-itth cent, the second stroke of r was made as long as that of n. 

2 Dobrowsky's Slavin p. 425 ; the Pol. hruzlic is crocklet, mug. Hanka's 
Altbohm. glossen have 66, 857 kruzlyk circulea, 9U, 164 krusslyk lix, which I do 
not understand. Can it be crutch ? 



Between the shoulders of the Bull is a space thickly sown with 
stars, but in which seven (really six) larger ones are recognis- 
able ; hence it is called sieben-gestim, OHG. thaz sibunstirri, 
0. v. 17, 29. Diut. i. 520\ Gl. Jim. 188 (where it is confounded 
with the Hyades not far off, in the Bull's head). Beside this 
purely arithmetical denomination, there are others more living : 
Gr. nXetd&es, Ion. IlXrj'idSes, seven daughters of Atlas and 
Ple'ione, whom Zeus raised to the sky, II. 18, 486. Od. 5, 272, 
and who, like the Norse Thiassi and Orvandill, are of giant kin ; 
but some explain these Pleiads from ireXeLdq wild dove, which 
is usually ireXeia} Lat. Vergiliae, of which Festus gives a lame 
explanation. A German poet writes virilie, Amgb. 42 b . 

The picture of the Pleiades that finds most favour among the 
people in Germany and almost all over Europe is that of a hen 
and seven chickens, which at once reminds us of the Greek seven 
doves? Mod. Gr. irovXia (Fauriel 2, 277). Our kluche, Mucker in, 
kluckhenne, brut-henne rnit den hunlein ; Dan. af ten-hone, even- 
ing-hen (-honne, Dansk. digtek. middelald. 1, 102); Engl, hen with 
her chickens; Fr. la poussiniere, in Lorraine poucherosse, covrosse 
(couveuse, brood-hen, qui conduit des poussius) 3 ; Gris. cluotschas 
or cluschas the cluck-hens; Ital. gallinelle ; Boh. slepice s kurdtky 
hen with chickens; Hung, fiastik, fiastyuk from tik, tyuk gallina, 
and fiazom pario. The sign of the cluck-hen seems to me inter- 
grown with our antiquity. Nursery tales bring in a peculiar 
feature, viz. that three nuts or eggs having been given as a pre- 
sent, out of them come a golden dress, a silver dress, and a cluckie 
with seven (or twelve) chickies, the three gifts representing sun, 
moon and seven-stars. Kinderm. no. 88 (2, 13). So in the 
Introd. to the Pentamerone, out of the miraculous nut comes a 
voccola co dudece polecine. Now the Hungarian tale in Gaal p. 381 
has ' golden hen and six chickens,' meaning the Pleiades ; and the 
maiden, seeking her lost lover, has to obtain access to him by the 
valuables contained in three nuts ; these were three dresses, on 
which severally were worked the sun, the moon, and the seven- 
stars (conf. Wigal. 812), being gifts of Sun, Moon, and Seven- 

1 The Suppl. adds : ' the Pleiades, like doves, carry ambrosia to Zeus, but one 
always gets lost in passing the Planctae rocks, and Zeus fills up their number again, 
Athen. 4, 325-6.' — Homer tells the story simply of doves, iriXaiai, Od. 12, 61. — Trans. 

2 Conf. Pentam. 4, 8 ' li sette palommielle,' seven children transformed, 
s Mem. des antiq. 4, 376. 6, 121-9. 


stars, bestowed upon her in her wanderings. The third dress 
tradition at last converted into the cluckie herself. Treasure- 
hunters dig for the costly clnckie with her chicks; conf. the 
sunken hoard, Chap. XXXII. A c hen and twelve hiinkeln ' was 
also an earthly fine, Weisth. 1, 465. 499. I am not sure that we 
are entitled to connect the nut with ' Iduns huot ' ; but what is 
' snn, moon and cluckie ' with us, is with the Finns far more 
plainly ' piii wa., kuu, otawa,' i.e. sun, moon, bear. The Span, name 
is Mas siete cabrillas' seven kids. 1 Pol. baby old wives, Russ. 
baba old wife [and nasedka sitting hen], Linde 1, 38 a ; Serv. 
vlashitsi (Vuk 78), vlashnitsi, (Bosn. Bible 3, 154, 223), Sloven. 
vlastovtse swallows? but Jaruik 229 b explains it' ramstiibe/ which 
I do not understand. The 0. Boh. name too is obscure, sczyet- 
nycze pleiades (Hanka's Glossen 58 b )= stetnice, bristly ones, from 
stetina seta ? Sloven, gostoseotsi, gostozhirtsi the thick-sown ? 
The last name agrees with the Lith. and Finn, view, viz. the con- 
stellation is a sieve having a great many holes, or sifting out a 
heap of flour : Lith. setas Lett, setinsh, Esth. sool or soggel, Finn. 
seula, seulainen. "Why does Suchenwirt 4, 326 say, ' daz her daz 
tailt sich in daz lant gleich recht als ain sibenstirn ' ? because the 
army is so thickly spread over the land ? (see Suppl.). 

The origin of the Pleiades is thus related : Chi'ist was passing 
a baker's shop, when He smelt the new bread, and sent his dis- 
ciples to ask for a loaf. The baker refused, but the baker's wife 
and her six daughters were standing apart, and secretly gave it. 
For this they were set in the sky as the Seven-stars, while the 
baker became the cuckoo (p. G7G baker's man), and so long as 
he sings in spring, from St. Tiburtius's day to St. John's, the 
Seven-stars are visible in heaven. Compare with this the Nor- 
wegian tale of Gertrude's bird (p. 673). 

There may be a few more stars for which popular names still 
exist. 2 In Lith. the Kids are artojis sa jduczeis plougher with 
oxen, and Capella neszeja walgio food-bearer (f.). Hanka's 0. 
Boh. gl. 58 b gives hrusa for Aldebanm, przyczeh for Arcturus. 
We might also expect to find names for the Hyades and Cas- 

1 Don Quixote 2, 41 (Idel. 4, 83 ; conf. 6, 242). 

- Cymrio ami -Gaelic Bibles (Job 9, 9), retain the Latin names from the Vulgate; 
from which it does not follow that these languages lack native nanus for stirs. 
Armstrong cites Gael, crannarain, baker's peel, for the Pleiades, aud dragblod, hre- 
tail, for the Lesser Bear. 


siopeia. But many stars are habitually confounded, as the 
Pleiades with the Hyades or Orion, and even with the Wain and 
Arcturus ; l what is vouched for by glosses alone, is not to be 
relied on. Thus I do not consider it proved as yet that the names 
plough and eburdrung really belong to Orion. By ' plough ' the 
Irish Fairy-tales 2, 123 mean the Wain rather than Orion, and 
who knows but the ' throng of boars ' may really stand for the 
'TdSes (from 5?) 3 and the Lat. Suculae? (see Suppl.). 

Still more unsafe and slippery is the attempt to identify the 
constellations of the East, founded as they are on such a different 
way of looking at the heavens. Three are named in Job 9, 9 : 
ttfy ash, nD'O kimeh, ^D3 ksil; 3 which the Septuagint renders 
7rA,aaSe?, ecnrepos, dp/cTovpos, the Vulgate 'Arcturus, Orion, 
Hyades/ and Luther ' the Wain, Orion, the Glucke (hen)/ In 
Job 38, 31 kimeh and ksil are given in the LXX as 7r\eui8es, 
'flpicov, in Vulg. as ' Pleiades, Arcturus/ in Diut. 1, 520 as 
' Siebeustirni, Wagan/ and in Luther as ' Siebenstern, Orion/ 
For ksil in Isaiah 13, 10 the LXX has flpiwv, Vulg. merely 
'splendor/ Luther 'Orion/ In Amos 5, 8 kimeh and ksil are 
avoided in LXX, but rendered in Vulg. ' Arcturus, Orion/ and 
by Luther 'the Glucke, Orion/ Michaelis drew up his 86 
questions on the meaning of these stars, and Niebuhr received 
the most conflicting answers from Arabian Jews ; 4 on the whole 
it seemed likeliest, that (1) ash was the Arabian constellation 
om en ndsh, (2) kimeh or chima the Arab, toriye, (3) ksil the 
Arab, shell (sihhel) ; the three corresponding to Ursa major, 

1 Keisersperg's Postil 206 : ' the sea-star or the Wain, or die henn mit den hiinlin 
as ye call it.' Grobianus 1572 fol. 93 b : 'wo der wagen steht, und wo die gluek mit 
hunkeln geht.' Several writers incorrectly describe the ' diimke, diiming ' as ' sie- 
bengestirn ' ; even Tobler, wben he says 370 b ' three stars of the siebeng. are called 
tbe horses, near wbich stands a tiny star, tbe waggoner, 1 is evidently thinking of the 
Wain's thill [Germans often take the ' seven-stars' for Ursa instead of Pleiades] . 

2 It Las long been thought a settled point, that Suculae (little sows) was a blun- 
dering imitation of 'TaSej, as if that came from Cs a sow, whereas it means ' the 
rainers ' from lieiv to rain (' ab imbribus,' Cicero; 'pluvio nomine,' Pliny). Does 
the author mean to reopen the question ? Did the later Greeks and Romans, 
ashamed of having these 'little sows' in the sky, invent the ' rainers ' theory ? 
May not Suculae at all events be a genuine old Roman name, taken from some meri- 
torious mythical pigs? — Tkans. 

3 In Hebr. the three words stand in the order ' ash, k'sil, kimah ; and their 
transposition here does some injustice to the Vulg. and Luther. As a fact, two out 
of the four times that k'sil occurs, it is 'ilpiwv in LXX, and the other two times it is 
Orion in Vulgate. Luther and the Engl, version are consistent throughout. — Trans. 

4 Beschr. von Arabien p. 11-4 ; some more Arabian names of stars, pp. 112 — 6. 


Pleiades and Sirius. If we look to the verbal meanings, ndsh, 
which some Arabs do change into ash, is feretrum, bier or 
barrow/ a thing not very difterent from a ' wain ' ; Jcimeh, Icima, 
seems to signify a thick cluster of stars, much the same sense as 
in that name of ' sieve ' : Jcsil, means foolish, ungodly, a lawless" 
giant, hence Orion. 

Constellations can be divided into two kinds, according to 
their origin. One kind requires several stars, to make up the 
shape of some object, a man, beast, etc. ; the stars then serve as 
ground or skeleton, round which is drawn the full figure as 
imagination sees it. Thus, three stars in a row form St. James's 
staff, distaff, a belt ; seven group themselves into the outline of a 
bear, others into that of a giant Orion. The other kind is, to my 
thinking, simpler, bolder, and older : a whole man is seen in a 
single star, without regard to his particular shape, which would 
disappear from sheer distance; if the tiny speck drew nearer to 
us, it might develop itself again. So the same three stars as 
before are three men mowing ; the seven Pleiads are a hen and 
her chickens ; two stars, standing at the same distance on each 
side of a faintly visible cluster, were to the ancient Greeks two 
asses feeding at a crib. Here fancy is left comparatively free 
and unfettered, while those outline-figures call for some effort of 
abstraction ; yet let them also have the benefit of Buttmann's apt 
remark, 2 that people did not begin with tracing the complete 
figure in the sky, it was quite enough to have made out a portion 
of it; the rest remained undefined, or was filled up afterwards 
according to fancy. On this plan perhaps the Bear was first 
found in the thi-ee stars of the tail, and then the other four 
supplied the body. Our Wain shews a combination of both 
methods : the thill arose, like the Bear's tail, by outline, but the 
four wheels consist each of a single star. One point of agree- 
ment is importaut, that the Greek gods put men among the 
stars, the same as Thorr and OSinn do (pp. 375. 723 ; see Suppl.). 

The appearance of the rainbow in the sky has given rise to a 
number of mythic notions. Of its rounded arch the Edda makes 
a heavenly bridge over which the deities walk ; hence it is called 

1 Bockarti hierorz., ed. Itosenmiiller 2, 680. 

: Origin of the Grk constcll. (in Abh. der Berl. acad. 1826, p. 19-63). 


Asbru (Ssern. 44 a ), more commonly Bif-rbst (OHG. would be pipa- 
rasta) the quivering tract, for rost, Goth, and OHG. rasta, means 
a definite distance, like mile or league. It is the best of all 
bridges (Seem. 46 a ), strongly built out of three colours; yet the 
day cometh when it shall break down, at the end of the world, 
when the sons of Muspell shall pass over it, Sn. 14. 72. The 
tail of this bridge l extends to Himinbiorg, Heiuidalfs dwelling 
(Sn. 21), and Heimdallr is the appointed keeper of the bridge; 
he guards it against hrimthurses and mountain-giants, 3 lest they 
make their way over the bridge into heaven, Sn. 18. 30. The 
whole conception is in keeping with the cars in which the 
gods journey through heaven, and the roads that stretch across 
it (conf. p. 361). It was Christianity that first introduced the 
0. Test, notion of the celestial bow being a sign of the covenant 
which God made with men after the rain of the Deluge : OHG. 
reganpogo, AS. scurboga, shower-bow, Casdm. 93, 5. Meanwhile 
some ancient superstitions linger still. The simple folk imagine, 
that on the spot where the rainbow springs out of the ground, 
there is a golden disk, or a treasure lies buried ; that gold coins 
or pennies drop out of the rainbow. When gold-pieces are picked 
up, they are called regenbogen-schiisselein (-dishes), patellae Iridis, 
which the sun squanders in the rainbow. In Bavaria they call 
the rainbow himmelring, sonnenring, and those coins himmelring - 
schusseln (Schm. 2, 196. 3, 109 : conf. supra p. 359 note). The 
Romans thought the bow in rising drank water out of the ground : 
( bibit arcus, pluet hodie/ Plaut. Curcul. 1, 2 ; ' purpureus pluvias 
cur bibit arcus aquas ? ' Propert. hi. 5, 32. Tibull. i. 4, 41. Virg. 
Georg. 1, 380. Ov. Met. 1, 271. One must not point ivith fingers 
at the rainbow, any more than at stars, Braunschw. anz. 1754, p. 
1063. Building on the rainbow means a bootless enterprise (note 
on Freidank p. 319. 320, and Nib. Lament 1095. Spiegel, 
161, 6) ; and setting on the rainbow (Bit. 2016) apparently 

1 Bruar-spordr (we still speak of a bridge's head, tete de pont), as if an animal 
had laid itself across the river, with head and tail resting on either bank. But we 
must not omit to notice the word spordr (prop, cauda piscis) ; as rost, rasta denote 
a certain stadium, so do the Goth, spaurds OHG. spurt a recurring interval, in the 
sense of our '(so many) times': thus, in Fragm. theot. 15, 19, dhrim spurtim 
(tribus vicibus), where rastom would do as well. Do the ' runar a, briiarsporSi,'' 
Sajm. 196 a mean the rainbow? 

2 Giants are often made bridge-keepers (p. 556 n.): the maiden MoSguSr guards 
giallarbru, Sn. 67. 


exposing to great danger? Is 'behusen unebene uf regenbogen' 
(Tit, Halm 4061) to be unequally seated? In H. Sachs ii. 287 a 
man gets pushed off the rainbow. The Finns have a song in 
which a maiden sits on the rainbow, weaving a golden garment. 
Might not our heathen ancestors think and say the like of their 
piparasta ? There is a remarkable point of agreement on the 
part of the Chinese: 'tunc et etiamnum viget superstitio, qua 
iridem orientalem digito monstrare nefas esse credunt; qui banc 
monstraverit, huic subito ulcus in manu futurum. Iridem habent 
Sinae pro signo libidinis effrenatae quae regnat.' l 

The Slavic name for the rainbow is 0. SI. dug a, Serv. and 
Russ. duga, dug a nebeskia, Boh. duha, prop, a stave (tabula, of a 
cask), hence bow ; the Servians say, any male creature that 
passes under the rainbow turns into a female, and a female into 
a male (Vuk sub v.). 2 Two Slovenic names we find in Murko : 
mdvra, mdvritsa, which usually means a blackish-brindled cow; 
and bozhyi stolets, god's stool, just as the rainbow is a chair of 
the Welsh goddess Geridwen (Dav. Brit. myth. 204) ; conf. 
' God's chair/ supra p. 136. Lett. warrawiKksne, liter, the 
mighty beech ? Lith. Laumes yosta, Lauma's or Laima's girdle 
(sup. p. 416) ; also dangaus yosta heaven's girdle, Mlpinnis 
dangaus heaven's bow, uroryhszte weather-rod ; more significant 
is the legend from Polish Lithuania, noticed p. 580, which 
introduces the rainbow as messenger after the flood, and as 
counsellor. Finn, taiwancaari, arcus coelestis. In some parts 
of Lorraine courroie de 8. Lienard, couronne de S. Bernard. In 
Superst. Esth. no. 65 it is the thunder-god's sickle, an uncom- 
monly striking conception. 

To the Greeks the tpt? was, as in the 0. Test., a token of the 
gods, II. 11, 27; but at the same time a half-goddess M/h?, who 
is sent out as a messenger from heaven. The Indians assigned 
the painted bow of heaven to their god Indras. In our own 
popular belief the souls of the just are led by their guardian- 
angels into heaven over the rainbow, Ziska's Oestr. volksm. 
49. 110. 

As for that doctrine of the Edda, that before the end of the 

1 Cbi-king ex lat. P. Lacharme, interpr. Jul. Mohl, p. 242. 

1 Like the contrary effects of the planet Venus on the two sexes in Superst. 1, 1G7. 


world Bifrost will break, I find it again in the German belief 
during the Mid. Ages that for a number of years before the 
Judgment-day the rainbow will no longer be seen : ' ouch hurt 
ich sagen, daz man sin (the regenpogen) nieht ensehe drizich jar 
(30 years) vor deme suontage/ Diut. 3, 61. Hugo von Trim- 
berg makes it 40 years (Renner 19837) : 

S6 man den regenbogen siht, 
so enzaget diu werlt niht 
dan darnach iiber vierzec jar ; 

so the rainbow appear, the world hath no fear, until thereafter 40 
year. Among the signs the Church enumerates of the approach 
of the Last Day, this is not to be found (see Suppl.). 


All the liveliest fancies of antiquity respecting day and night 
are intertwined with those about the sun, moon and stars : day 
and night are holy godlike beings, near akin to the gods. The 
Edda makes Day the child of Night. 

Norvi, a iotunn, had a daughter named Ndtt, black and dingy 
like the stock she came of (svort oc dock sem hon atti sett til) ; l 
several husbands fell to her share, first Naglfari, then Anar (Onar) 2 
a dwarf, by whom she had a daughter IorS, who afterwards 
became ObWs wife and ThoVs mother. Her last husband was 
of the fair race of the ases, he was called Dellingr, and to him 
she bore a son Dagr, light and beautiful as his paternal ancestry. 
Then All-father took Night and her son Day, set them in the sky, 
and gave to each of them a horse and a car, wherewith to journey 
round the earth in measured time. The steeds were named the 
rimy-maned and the shiny-maned (p. 655-6). 

The name Dellingr, the assimilated form of Dcglingr, includes 
that of the son Dagr, and as -ling if it mean anything means 
descent, we must either suppose a progenitor Dagr before him, 
or that the order of succession has been reversed, as it often is 
in old genealogies. 

For the word ' dags, dagr, dasg, tac ' I have tried to find a root 
(Gramm. 2, 44), and must adhere to my rejection of Lat. f dies' 
as a congener, because there is no consonant-change, and the 
Teutonic word develops a g, and resolves its a into o (uo); yet 
conf. my Kleinere schriften 3, 11 7. 3 On the other hand, in ' dies' 
and all that is like it in other languages, there plainly appeared 

1 This passage was not taken into account, p. 528 ; that Night and Helle 
should be black, stands to reason, but no conclusion can be drawn from that about 
giants as a body. Notice too the combination ' svort ok dock,* conf. p. 445. Here 
giant and dwarf genealogies have evidently overlapped. 

2 Conf. Haupt's Zeitsobr. 3, 111. 

3 [Sanskr. dah urere, ardere (Bopp's Gl. 1G5) does seems the root both of dies 
and Goth, dags, which has exceptionally kept prim. </ unchanged. MHG. tac still 
retained the sense of heat : ' fiir der heizen sunnen tac,' MS. 2, 84*. — Suppl.] 



an interlacing of the notions ' day, sky, god/ p. 193. As Day 
and Donar are both descended from Night, so Dies and Deus 
(Zeus) fall under one root; one is even tempted to identify Donar, 
Thunor with the Etruscan Tina (dies), for the notion day, as we 
shall see, carries along with it that of din : in that case Tina 
need not stand for Dina, but would go with Lat. tonus and toni- 
trus. Deus is our Tiw, Ziu, for the same name sometimes gets 
attached to different gods ; and it is an additional proof how 
little ' dies ' has to do with our ' daeg, tag ' j likewise for 
coelum itself we have none but unrelated words, p. 698-9. From 
the root div the Ind. and Lat. tongues have obtained a number 
of words expressing all three notions, gods, day and sky ; the 
Greek only for gods and sky, not for day, the Lith. for god and 
day, not sky, the Slav, for day alone, neither god nor sky, and 
lastly our own tongue for one god only, and neither sky nor day. 
Here also we perceive a special affinity between Sanskrit and 
Latin, whose wealth the remaining languages divided amongst 
them in as many different ways. The Greek fyfiap, ij/xepa I do 
regard as near of kin to the Teut. himins, himil ; there is also 
'Hfxepa a goddess of day. 

The languages compared are equally unanimous in their name 
for night : Goth, nahts, OHG. naht, AS. niht, ON. nott (for natt), 
Lat. nox nodls, Gr. vv% vvktos, Lith. naktis, Lett, nahts, 0. SI. 
noshti, Pol. and Boh. noc (pron. nots), Sloven, nozh, Serv. notj, 
Sanskr. nahta chiefly in compounds, the usual word being wis, 
nisd (both fern.). Various etymologies have been proposed, but 
none satisfactory. 1 As day was named the shining, should not 
the opposite meaning of ' dark ' lurk in the word night ? Yet it 
is only night unillumined by the moon that is lightless. There is 
a very old anomalous verb ' nahan ' proper to our language, from 
whose pret. nahta 3 the noun nahts seems to come, just as from 
magan mahta, lisan lista come the nouns mahts, lists. Now 

1 [Bopp 198»> and Pott 1, 160 explain nisa as ' lying down * from si to lie ; and 
naktam as ' while lying.' Benfey assumes two roots, nakta ' not-waking,' 2, 369 
and nis conn, with Lat. niger 2, 57. — Suppl.] 

2 The plurals of Goth, ganah, binah are lost to us; I first assumed ganahum, 
binahum, but afterwards ganauhum, because binauht = ££e<m in 1 Cor. 10, 23, and 
ganauha avrdpKeia occurs several times. The u (au before an h) is the same as in 
skal skulum, man munum, OHG. mac mugum, in spite of which the noun is maht. 
But the Goth, mag magum proves the superior claim of a, so that nahts (nox) 
would presuppose an older nab nahum, nahta, even though Ulphilas had written 
nab nauhuni, nauhta. 


Goth, gannhan, OHG. kinahan, means sufficere, so that nahts 
would be the sufficing, pacifying, restful, quiet, at the same time 
<?/'ficierit, strong, aprcia, which seems to hit the sense exactly. 
Add to this, that the OHG. duruh-naht is not only pernox, totam 
noctem durans, but more commonly perfectus, consummatus, 
' fullsummed in power,' MHG. durnehte, durnehtec, where there 
is no thought of night at all. Where did Stieler 1322 find his 
' durchnacht, nox illunis ; ? = the Scand. nrS (p. 710), and meaniug 
the height of night (see Suppl.). 

Both day and night are exalted beings. Day is called the 
holy, like the Greek lepov rj^ap: f sam mir der heilic tac ! ' 
Ls. 2, oil. 'sa mir daz heilige lieht I ' Roth. ll b . 'die Ueben 
tage,' Ms. 1, 165 a . ' der liebe tag,' Simplic. 1, 5. Hence both 
are addressed with greetings: ' heill Dagr, heilir Dags synir, 
heil Nott ok nipt ! ureiSom augom litit ockr hinnig, ok gefit 
sitjondom sigur ! ' they are asked to look with gracious eyes 
on men, and give victory, Sasm. 194 a ; and the adoration of day 
occurs as late as in Mart, von Amberg's Beichtspiegel. f diu edele 
naht, Ms. 2, 196 b . ' diu heilige naht,' Gerh. 3541. ( sam mir diu 
heilic naht hint ! ' so (help) me Holy Night to-night, Helbl. 2, 
1384. 8, GOG. ( frau Naht, Ms H. 3,428 a (see Suppl.). 

Norse poetry, as we saw, provided both Night and Day with 
cars, like other gods; but then the sun also has his chariot, while 
the moon, as far as I know, has none ascribed to her. Night 
and Day are drawn by one horse each, the Sun has two ; con- 
sequently day was thought of as a thing independent of the sun, 
as the moon also has to light up the dark night. Probably the 
car of Day was supposed to run before that of the Sun, 1 and 
the Moon to follow Night. The alternation of sexes seems not 
without significance, the masculine Day being accompanied by 
the feminine Sun, the fem. Night by the masc. Moon. The 
Greek myth gives chariots to Helios and Selene, none to the 
deities of day and night ; yet Aeschylus in Persae 386 speaks 
of day as Xeu/coVtyXcx? rj/^epa, the white-horsed. The riddle in 
Eeiumar von Zweter, Ms. 2, 136, lets the chariot of the year be 
drawn by seven white and seven black steeds (the days and 
nights of the week). Here also the old heathen notion of riding 

1 i.e. day or morning is there before the sun, who backs them up, so to speak : 
unz daz diu sunne ir liehtez schhien hot deni morgeu iibtr berge, Nib. 1504, 2. 


or driving deities peeps out. Again, a spell quoted in Mone's 
Anz. 6, 459 begins with ' God greet thee, holy Sunday ! I see 
thee there come riding.' This is no doubt the heathen god Tag 
riding along on Scinfahso with his shiny mane (ON. Skinfaxi, 
Sn. 11) ; but if we took it for the white god Paltar on his foal 
(p. 222-4), we should not be altogether wrong. We shall have 
more to say presently on the personification of Day; but that 
spell is well worthy of consideration (see Suppl.) . 

Nevertheless our poets express the break of day by the sun's 
uprising, and more especially the fall of night by his setting; 
but neither the beginning nor end of night by the moon, whose 
rising and settino- are seldom simultaneous with them. I will 
now give the oldest set phrases that express these phenomena. 

The sun rises, climbs r Goth, sunna ur-rinnij), Mk. 4, 6. 16, 2. 
OHG. ar-rinnit; daranah ir-ran diu sunna, N. ps. 103, 22 ; MHG. 
si was uf er-runnen, Mar. 189. ON. J?a rami dagr upp, 01. helg. 
cap. 220. Rinnan is properly to run, to flow, and here we see 
a strict analogy to the 0. Rom. idiom, which in like manner uses 
man are of the rising day : ' diei principium mane, quod turn 
mdnat dies ab oriente/ Varro 6, 4 (0. Muller p. 74) ; ' manar 
solem dicebant antiqui, cum solis orientis radii splendorem jacere 
coepissent ' (Festus sub v.). Ulphilas never applies ur-reisan 
(surgere) to the sun. The Span, language attributes to the 
rising sun a pricking (apuntar) : ( yxie el sol, dios, que fermoso 
apuntaba' Cid 461 ; ' quando viniere la maiiana, que apuntare 
el sol/ Cid 2190. After rising the sun is awake, 'with the sun 
awake' means in broad daylight (Weisth. 2, 169. 173. 183), 
'when sunshine is up' (2, 250). AS. ' hador heofonleoma com 
llican,' Andr. 838 (see Suppl.). 

The sun sinks, falls : Goth, sagq sunno (pron. sank), Lu. 4, 40. 
gasagq sauil, Mk. 1, 32. dissigqdi (occidat), Eph. 4, 26. OHG. 
sunna , pifeal (ruit) , pisluac (occidit), 1 Gl. Ker. 254. Diut. 1, 274 a . 
MHG. siget : diu sunne siget hin, Trist. 2402. diu sunne was ze 
tal gesigen, Wh. 447, 8. nu begund diu sunne sigen, Aw. 1, 41. 
ON. both sol&rfail and sbhetr, Engl. suns<?£ ; so OHG. ' denue 
sunna hisaz,' cum sol occumberet, Diut. 1, 492% implying that he 
sits down, and that there is a seat or chair for him to drop into 

1 Iutrans., as we still say niedersclilagen, zu boileii scblagen. 


at the end of his journey. His setting is called OHG. sedalkane, 
Hym. 18,1; sedal ira kat (goeth) 14, 2. AS. setelgong, 1 setlrdd, 
Casdm. 181, 19. o&Suet sunne geivdt to sete glidan, Andr. 1305. 
oSSast beorht geivdt sunne swegeltorlit to sete glidan 121-8. OS. 
seg sunne to sedle, Hel. 86, 12. sunne ward an sedle 89, 10. 
geng tliar aband tuo, sunna ti sedle 105, 6. scred wester dag, 
sunne te sedle 137, 20. so thuo gisegid warth sedle nahor hedra 
sunna mid hebantunglon 170, 1. Dan. for vesten gaaer solen til 
sdde, DV. 1, 90, in contrast to ' sol er i austri (east)/ Vilk. 
saga p. 58-9. The West (occasus) stands opposed to the East 
(oriens), and as OHG. kibil means pole, and Nordkibel, Sunt- 
kibel the north and south poles (N. Bth. 208), a set phrase in 
our Weisthiimer may claim a high antiquity : ' bis (until) die 
sonne unter den Westergibel geht ' (1, 836); 'bis die sonne an 
den Wg. schint' (2, 195); 'so lange dat die sonne in den Wes- 
tergevel schint ' (2, 159). The first of these three passages 
has the curious explanation added : ' till 12 o'clock.' 2 Ovid's 
' axe sub liesperio ' Met. 4, 214 is thus given by Albrecht : 
in den liehten ivesternangen. The similar expression in ON. 
seems to me important, Gragas 1, 26 : ' fara til logbergs, at sol 
se a gidhamri enum vestra/ giahamarr beiug chasmatis rupes 
occidentalis. I shall have more to say about that in another 
connexion; conf. however Landnama bok 215: sol i austri ok 
vestri. MHG. diu sunne gie ze sedele, Diut. 3, 57. als diu 
sunne in ir gesedel solde gan, Morolt 38 a ; but what place on 
earth can that be, whose very name is told us in 14 b , ' ze Geildt, 
da, diu sunne ir gesedel hat ' ? the capital of India ? (see p. 743 
note.) I suppose laidam, MHG. gaden (cubiculum), Moi\ 15 a is 
equivalent to sedal, unless the true reading be ' ze gnaden.' The 
sun gets way-worn, and longs for rest : do hete diu miiede sunne 

1 ON. and AS. distinguish between two periods of the evening, an earlier aptati 
ccfen = vespera, and a later qveld, cwiM= con ticinium : 'at qveldi,' Saem. 20. 73 h , 
means at full evening, when night has fallen and its stillness has set in. I derive 
cnrild, qveld from cwellan, qvelja to quell or kill, as in many passages it means liter, 
interitus, occisio, nex ; so we may explain it by the falling or felling of the day 
(cadere, whence caedere), or still better by the deathlike hush of night ; conf. Engl. 
' dead of night, deadtime of n.', the conticmium, AS. cwildtid. If ' chuiltiwcreh ' 
in a doc. of 817 means cwildweorc, work in the late evening, which is not to be put 
upon maidservants, then OHG. too had a chuilt corresp. to cwild and qveld, qvold. 
In Cffldm. 188, 11 I propose to read : ' cwildrofu eodon on la'6'ra last,' i.e. (belluae) 
vesperi famosae ibant in vestigia malorum. 

2 In fixing boundary-lines Wvstergibcl is even used topographically, Weisth. 1, 
464-5. -185. 498. 5oO-G. 


ir liehten blic hinz ir gelesen, Parz. 32, 24. He goes- to his 
bed, his bedchamber : Dan. ' solen ganger til senge,' DV. 1, 107. 
' solen gik til hvile,' 1, 170. MHG. diu sunne gerte lazen sich 
zuo reste, Ernst 1326. diu sunne do ze reste gie, Ecke (Hag.) 
110. nu wolte diu sunne ze reste und ouch ze gemache nider gan, 
Dietr. 14 d ; so M. Opitz 2, 286 : 'muss doch zu Hide gehen, so 
oft es abend wird, der schone himmels-schild/ OE. the sun 
was gon to rest, Iwan 3612. Our gnade (favour), MHG. genade, 
OHG. kinada, properly means inclining, drooping, repose 
(p. 710), which accounts for the phrase 'diu sunne gienc ze 
gnaden' (dat. pi.), Mor. 37 a . Wolfdietr. 1402. Even Agricola no 
longer understood it quite, for he says in Sprichw. 737 : ' it 
lasted till the sun was about to go to gnaden, i.e. to set, and deny(!) 
the world his gnade and light by going to rest/ Aventin (ed. 
1580 p. I9 b ) would trace it back to our earliest heathenism and 
a worship of the sun as queen of heaven : ' never might ye say 
she set, but alway that she went to rost and gnaden, as the silly 
simple folk doth even yet believe.' The last words alone are 
worth noticing; the superstition may be of very old standing, 
that it is more pious, in this as in other cases, to avoid straight- 
forward speech, and use an old half-intelligible euphemism. On 
this point Vuk 775 has something worthy of note : you must say 
' smirilo se suntse' (the sun is gone to rest, conquievit), and not 
zadye (is gone) nor syede (sits) ; if you say zadye, he answers 
f zashao pa ne izishao ' (gone, not come out) ; l if you say syede, 
he tells you ' syeo pa ne ustao ' (sat down, not risen) ; but to 
'smirise' the answer is ' smiryd se i ti ' (rest thee also thou). 2 
And with this I connect the Eddie saw on the peculiar sacreduess 
of the setting sun: 'engi skal gumna i gogn vega siffskinandi 
systor Mana/ Saem. 184 b , none shall fight in the face of the 
late-shining sister of the Moon (see Suppl.) 

Lye quotes an AS. phrase f aer sun go to glade/ which he 
translates ' priusquam sol vergat ad occasum, lapsum/ The 
noun formed from glidan (labi) would be glad, and glidan is 

1 Kopitar tells me, ' zashao etc.' is rather an imprecation : mayst thou go in (per- 
haps, lose thy way) and never get out ! So ' syeo etc.', mayst thou sit down aud 
never get up ! 

2 Mod. Greek songs say, 6 ffXtos ij3affi\eve, ipaalXefe (Fauriel 1, 56. 2, 300. 432), 
i.e. has reigned, reigns no more in the sky, is set ; aud the same of the setting 
moon (2, 176). 

SUNSET. 741 

actually used of the sun's motion : heofones gim glad ofer 
grundas, Beow. 4140 [and ( t6 sete glidan' twice in Andreas]. 
But ' gongan to glade ' seems nonsense ; perhaps we ought to 
suppose a noun gla)de with the double meaning of splendor and 
gaudium. Both the ON. glaftr and OHG. klat signify first 
splendidus, then hilaris, two notions that run into one another 
(as in our heiter = serenus aud hilaris) ; klat is said of stars, eyes, 
rays (Graff 4, 288), and the sun, 0. ii. 1, 13 : er wurti sunna so 
glat (ere he grew so bright). The MHG. poet quoted on p. 705 
says (Warnung 2037) : 

so ir die sunnen vro sehet, When ye see the sun glad, 

schoanes tages ir ir jehet, Ye own the fine day is hers, 

des danktir ir, und Gote niht. Ye thank her, not God. 

In Switzerland I find the remarkable proper name Simnenfroh 
(Anshelm 3, 89. 286). But now further, the notions of bliss, 
repose, chamber, lie next door to each other, and of course 
brightness and bliss. The setting sun beams forth in heightened 
splendour, he is entering into his bliss : this is what ' gongan to 
gleede ' may have meant. In ON. I have only once fallen in with 
solarglacfan (occasus), Fornald. sog. 1, 518. We learn from 
Ihre's Dialectics, p. 57 a 165% that in Vestgotland f gladas' is said 
of the sun when setting : solen gladas or glaas (occidit), sole- 
glanding, solglddjen (occasus), which may mean that the setting 
sun is glad or glitters. That is how I explain the idiom quoted 
by Staid. 1, 4G3. 2, 520: the sun goes gilded = sets, i.e. glitters 
for joy. So in Kinderm. no. 165 : sunne z'gold gauge; in a song 
(Eschenburg's Denkm. 240) : de sunne ging to golde; and often 
in the Weisthiimer : so die sun fur gold gat (1, 197), als die 
sonue in golt get (1, 501). Again, as the rising sun presents 
a like appearance of splendour, we can now understand better 
why the vulgar say he leaps for joy or dances on great festivals 
(p. 291); he is called f the paschal piper/ Haupt's Zeitschr. 1, 
547. Nor would I stop even there, I would also account for that 
noise, that clang once ascribed to tho rising and setting sun 
(p. 720-1) by a deep affinity between the notions of light and 
sound, of colours and tones, Gramm. 2, 86-7. A strophe in 
Albrecht's Titurel describes more minutely the music of sunrise : 


Darnach kund sich diu sunne 

wol an ir zirkel riden (writhe) : 

der siieze ein iiberwunne, 

ich ween die siieze nieman moht erliden. 

mit done do diu zirkel ruorte ; 

seitenklanc und vogelsanc 

ist alsam glick der golt gen kupfer fuorte. 

(Then in his orb the sun to whirling took, I ween such glut of 
sweetness none might brook ; with dulcet din his orb he rolled, 
that clang of strings or bird that sings were like as copper beside 
gold.) Who can help thinking of the time-honoured tradition of 
Memnon's statue, which at sunrise sent forth a sound like the 
clang of a harpstring, some say a joyful tone at the rising and a 
sad at the setting of the sun. 1 Further on we shall be able to 
trace some other fancies about the break of day and the fall of 
night, to light and sound (see Suppl.) . 

But whither does the evening sun betake himself to rest, and 
where is his chamber situated ? The oldest way of putting it is, 
that he dives into the sea, to quench his glow in the cool wave. 
The AS. Bth. (Eawl. 193 a ) : ' and beah monnum bynceS bset hio 
on mere gange, under soe swife, ]?onne hio on setl glided.' So 
the ancients said Svvai and mergere of the sun and stars, e occasus, 
interitus, vel solis in oceanum mersio ' (Festus). 2 Boeth. 4 (metr. 
5) says of Bootes : cur mergat seras aequore flammas ; and metr. 6 : 
nee, cetera cernens sidera mergi, cupit oceano tingere flammas ; 
which N. 223 translates : alliu zeichen sehende in sedel gan, 
niomer sih ne gerot hebadon (bathe) in demo merewazere. So, 
' sol petit oceanum,' Rudlieb 4, 9. But the expression comes so 
naturally to all who dwell on the seacoast, that it need not be a 
borrowed one ; we find it in ON. ' sol gengr i oegi,' Fornm. sog. 
2, 302, and in MHG. ' der se, da diu sunne lif get ze reste,' MS. 
2, 66 b . And, as other goddesses after making the round of the 
country are bathed in the lake, it is an additional proof of the 
Sun's divinity that f she ' takes a bath, a notion universally preva- 

1 Pausan. 1, 42. Philostr. Vita Apoll. 6, 4. Heroic. 4. Pliny 36, 11. Tac. 
Ann. 2, 61. Juven. 15, 5. 

2 Setting in the lake is at the same time depositing the divine eye as a pledge 
in the fountain. I will add a neat phrase from Wolfram, Parz. 32, 24 : d6 hete diu 
miiede sunne ir liehten blic hinz ir gelesen. 


lent among the Slavs also : at eve she sinks into her bath to 
cleanse herself, at morn she emerges clean with renewed grandeur. 
The sea was thought to be the Sun's mother, into whose arms 
she sank at night. 1 

To inhabitants of the inland, the horizon was blocked by a 
wood, hence the phrases : sol gengr til vi&ar (Biorn sub v. vidr) ; 
solen gar under vide (Ihre sub v.) ? But the AS. word in : 
' hador sgegl wuldortorht gewat under waffa scriSan/ Andr. 1456, 
seems to be a different thing, the OHG. weidi (p. 132 n.). We 
say the sun goes behind the hills, to which corresponds the AS. 
' sunne gewat under nifian nces,' sub terrae crepidinem, Andr. 
1306 (conf. under neolum naesse, El. 831); a Dan. folksong: 
solen gik til iorde, down to earth, DV. 1, 170; Ecke (Hagen) 129 : 
diu sunne uz dem himel gie. Or, the sun is down, MHGr. ' der 
sunne (here masc.) hinder gegat/ MS. 2, 192 b (see Suppl.). 3 

We will now examine other formulas, which express daybreak 
and nightfall without any reference to the sun. 

What is most remarkable is, that day was imagined in the 
shape of an animal, which towards morning advances in the sky. 
Wolfram begins a beautiful watchman's song with the words : 
'sine hlawen durch die wolken shit gestagen (his claws through the 
clouds are struck), er stiget uf mit grozer kraft, ih sih ihn grawen, 
den tac;' and in part third of Wh. (Cass. 31 7 a ) we read: 'daz 
diu wolken waren gra, und der tac sine eld hete gestagen durch die 
nald. 4. Is it a bird or a beast that is meant ? for our language 
gives claws to both. In AS. there is a proper name Dceg-hrefn, 
Beow. 4998, which in OHG. would be Taka-hraban ; and Beow. 
3599 describes daybreak in the words : ' hrasfn blaca heofones 
wynne bli5-heort bodode,' niger corvus coeli gaudium laeto corde 
nuntiavit. 5 That piercing with the claw to raise a storm (p. 633) 
makes one think of an eagle, while an Oriental picture, surprisingly 

1 Hanusch, Slav. myth. p. 231, who connects with it the splashing with water 
at the Kupalo feast, and derives that name from kupel, kapiel. 

2 Estli. paaw katsub metsa ladwa, the sun walks on the tips of the wood. 

3 Gndr. 116, 2 : ' der sunne schin gelac verborgen hinter den wolken zc 
Gvstrdte verre ' I understand no better than Geildte (p. 73'J) ; but both seem to 
mean the same thing. 

4 So in a Weisthum (3, 90) : ' do sunne uppe dem hogesten gewest clawendichJ' 

5 Conf. volucris dies, Hor. Od. hi. 28, G. iv. 13, 10. 



similar, suggests rather the king of beasts, who to us is the bear. 1 
Ali Jelebi in his Humayun-nameh (Diez p. 153) describes the 
beginning of day in language bombastic it may be, yet doubtless 
a faithful reflex of ancient imagery: f When the falcon of the 
nest of the firmament had scattered the nightbirds of the flicker- 
ing stars from the meadow of heaven, and at sight of the claws 
of the lion of day the roe of musk- scented night had fled from 
the field of being into the desert of non-existence.' The night, 
a timid roe, retires before the mighty beast of day : a beautiful 
image, and full of life. Wolfram again in another song makes 
day press forward with resistless force (see Suppl.). 

But the dawn is also pictured in human guise, that of a beautiful 
youth, sent like Wuotan's raven as harbinger of day : ' deeg byS 
Dryhtnes sond" says the Lay of Runes. And in this connexion 
we ought to consider the formation of such names as ISseldceg, 
Swipdceg, etc., for gods and heroes. This messenger of the gods 
stations himself on the mountain's top, and that on tiptoe, like the 
beast on his claws, that he may the sooner get a glimpse of the 
land : c jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops,' 
Rom. and J. 3, 5; a popular image, I have little doubt, and one 
that Hebel also uses about Sunday morning : f und lisli uf de 
zeche gold und heiter uf de berge stoht de sunntig.' He climbs 
and pushes on swiftly, irrepressibly : der tac stigende wart, Trist. 
8942. der tac begund herdringen, Wolfd. 124. In AS. ' ]>a wses 
morgen leoht scofen and scynded ' (praecipitatus et festinatus, 
shoved and shindied), Beow. 1828. Hence our poets call him 
der riche, the mighty, as they do Grod (p. 20) : riche also der tac, 
MS. 1, 163 a . riche muotes alsam der tac, Wigal. 5222. der tac 
wil gerichen (prevail, prosper), MS. 1, 27 b . 2, 23 b ; he is not to be 
checked, he chases night away. Put impersonally : tho iz zi dage 
want (turned), Otfr. iii. 8, 21 ; but also : der tac wil niht erwinden 
(turn aside, give it up), MS. 1, 147 b . morge fruo, als der tac 
erstarlcet (gathers strength), Eracl. 587. do die naht der tac 
vertreip, Frauend. 47. 58. He hurls her from her throne, and 
occupies it himself : ez taget, diu naht muoz ab ir trone. den sie 
ze Kriechen hielt mit ganzer vrone, der tac ivil in besitzen, MS. 
1, 2 b ; conf. /3aai\eveiv said of the sun (see Suppl.). 

1 The Arabs call the first glimmer of dawn the wolfs tail, Riickert's Hariri 1, 


Sometimes it appears as if the day, whether pictured as man 
or as beast, were tethered, and delayed in dawning: Ugata,fiine 
ligata dies, Reinh. lxiv ; he approaches slowly, hindered by the 
bands : ein nacht doch nicht gepunden ist an einen stelcchen, hocr 
ich sagen, Suchenw. 22, 30. Has that in Fergfit 1534, 'quarn 
die dach ghestrirt in die sale/ anything to do with this ? In a 
Hungarian fairy-tale (Mailath 1, 137), midnight and dawn are so 
tied up, that they cannot get forward, and do not arrive among 
men. Stier's Volksm. pp. 3. 5. One MHG. poem represents day 
as on sale and to be had for money, Zeitschr. f. d. a. 1, 27 ; like 
a slave bound by a cord ? 

The Eomance tongues (not the Teut.) often signify the break 
of day by a word meaning to prick : Fr. poindre, Sp. puntar, 
apuntar (said of the sun also, p. 738), It. spuntare ; thus, a la 
pointe du jour, at daybreak. This may indeed be understood of 
the day's first advance, as though it presented a sharp point, but 
also it may refer to day as a rider who spurs his steed, or to the 
tramping and trotting of a beast, which is also poindre, Reinh. 
p. xxxix (see Suppl.). 

But more significant and impressive are the phrases that 
connect with daybreak (as well as with sunrise) the idea of a 
flutter and rustle, which might be referred to the pinions of the 
harbinger of day, but which carries us right up to the highest 
god, whose sovereign sway it is that shakes the air. Wuotan, 
when spoken of as Wuomo, Wotna, is a thrill of nature (p. 141), 
such as we actually experience at dawn, when a cool breeze 
sweeps through the clouds. Expressions in point are the AS. 
dceg-woma Casdm. 190, 26. Cod. exon. 175,4. dcegred-woma, 
Andr. 125, 8. Cod. exon. 179, 24. morgen-sweg, Beow. 257. 
dyne on dasgred, Casdni. 289, 27. asr dsegrede bast se dyne becom, 
Caadm. 294, 4; conf. Introd. to Andr. and El. xxx. xxxi, and the 
allusion to Donar, p. 73G. To this I would trace the 'clang' 
sent forth by the light of sunrise and sunset. And I venture to 
put the same sense on an 0. Fr. formula, which occurs only in 
Carolingian poems: Gerard De Viane 1241, f lou matin par son 
Vaube esclarcie.' Cod. reg. 7183, 3 a , f un matin par son Vaube, 
quant el fu aparue'; ibid. 5% ( uq matin par son Vaube, quant 
li jor esclaira' ; ibid. 1G1 C , ' au matin par son Vaube, si con chantc 
li gaus (gallus).' Cod. 7535, G9 C , { a matin par son Vaube. I 


add a few instances from the Charlemagne, ed. Michel 239, ' al 
matin sun la (?) lalbe' ; 248. 468. 727, ' al matin par sun lalbe ' ; 
564, ( le matin par sun lalbe.' Was it not originally per sonum 
(sonitum) albae ? Later they seem to have taken it in a different 
sense, viz. son = summum, summitas, Fr. sommet ; Michel in 
Gloss, to Charlem. 133 gives a passage which spells ' par som 
laube/ and elsewhere we find ' par son leve/ on the top of the 
water, ' en sun eel pin/ up on this pine, Charlem. 594. 760, ' en 
son/ on the top, Kenart 2617. In Provencal, Ferabras 182, 'lo 
mati sus en lalba ' ; 3484, ' lo matinet sus lalba/ In It., Buovo 
p. m. 84. 99. 155, una mattina su 1' alba, i.e. sur l'aube, which 
gives only a forced meaning, as though it meant to say ' when the 
alba stood over the mountain top.' 

The English use the expression 'peep of day' : c the sun began 
to peep ' says a Scotch song, Minstr. 2, 430 ; so the Danes have 
pipe f rem : ' hist piper solen /rem, giv Gud en lyksom dag ! ' says 
Thorn. Kingo, a 17th cent, poet (Nyerup's Danske digtek. mid- 
delalder 1, 235). Both languages now make it a separate word 
from ' to pipe/ Dan. 'pibe.' But, just as in the Fr. 'par son' 
the sound became a coming in sight, so the old meaning of 
' piping ' seems to have got obliterated, and a new distinction to 
have arisen between peep and pipe, Dan. pipe and pibe. Our 
Gryphius therefore is right in saying (p.m. 740), ' the moon 
pipes up her light/ It is the simultaneous breaking forth of 
light and noise in the natural phenomenon. We have the same 
thing in ( skreik of day' (Hunter's Hallamsh. gloss, p. 81), which 
can mean nothing but ' shriek ' ; and in the Nethl. f kriek, krieken 
van den dag/ Plattd. ' de krik vam dage ' for the morning 
twilight, the chirking (so to speak) of day, as the chirping insect 
is called cricket, kriek, krikel, ki'ekel (cicada). A remarkable 
instance of the two meanings meeting in one word is found in 
the Goth, svigla (auXo?), OHG. su'ekala (fistula), by the side of 
the AS. swegel (lux, aether), OS. suigli (lux). 

Our own word anbrechen (on-break) implies a crash and a 
shaking, MHG. sa do der ander tac iif brack (Frauend. 53. 109) ; J 

i Conf. Bon. 48, 68 ; and I must quote Ls. 3, 259 : ' do brach der tac da herfilr, 
diu nabt Yon dem tac wart kinent (became yawning, was split ? conf. supra p. 558), 
diu sunne wart wol schinent.' The Gute Frau has twice (1539. 2451) : 'do der tac 
durch daz tach (thatch) luhte unde brack.' We might perh. derive ' uf brach ' from 
brehen, but we now say anbrechen, anbruch. 


Engl, break (as well as rush, hltish) of day. Span. 'el alva 
rompe.' 0. Sp. ' apriessa cantan los gallos, e quieren quebrar 
alb ores/ Cid 235. ' ya quiebran los albores, e vinie la mauana J 
460. ' trocida es la noche, ya quiebran los albores ' 3558. 0. Fr. 
c l'aube crieve,' Ren. 1186. 'ja estoit Paube crevee ' 1175. 'tantost 
con l'aube se creva' 16057. Prov. ' can lalba fo crevada,' Ferabr. 
3977. This romper, quebrar, crevar (Lat. crepare) is the quiver- 
ing and quaking of the air that precedes sunrise, accompanied 
by a perceptible chill ; and crepusculum contains the same idea. 
The Spaniard says also c el alva se rie/ laughs ; and the Arab 
'the morning sneezes' (see Suppl.). 1 

But here the notion of Twilight, and the oldest words by which 
it is expressed, have to be examined more minutely. 

The very first glimmer of dawn, or strictly that which precedes 
it, the latter end of night, is expressed by the Goth. uhtvo 
(evwxov), Mk. 1, 35, OHG. ulda, or as N. spells it uohta, OS. 
uhta, AS. uhte (most freq. ' on uhtan/ Caadm. 20, 26. 289, 31. 
294, 2. Cod. exon. 443, 24. 459, 17. 460, 14. f on uhtan mid 
asrdsege/ Beow. 251), ON. otta (Biorn says, from 3 to 6 a.m.). 
The root has never been explained ; probably the Swiss Uchtland 
and Westphalian Uchte may be named from uhta. Closely 
bordering on it is the AS. cerdceg (primum tempus), Beow. 251. 
2623. 5880; ON. drdagi (conf. ardegis, mane) ; an OHGr. ertac or 
crtago is unknown to me. Next comes the notion of diluculum, 
ON. dagsbrun, dagsblarmi, dagsbirta, from brim=ora, margo, as 
if supercilium, and biarmi, birta = lux: but OHGr. tagarod, tagarot 
(Graff 2, 486-7) ; AS. dcegrkl, Ceedin. 289, 27. 294, 4; MLG. 
dagerdt, En. 1408 ; M. Nethl. dagheraet (Huyd. op. St. 2, 496) : 
a compound whose last syllable is not distinctly traceable to rut 
(ruber), but is perhaps allied to the rodur, roSull (coelum) on 
p. 699. The gender also wavers between masc. and fern. 2 Wu 
catch glimpses of a mythic personality behind, for N. in Cap. 
102 translates Leucothea (the white bright goddess, a Perahta) 
by ' der tagerod,' and carries out the personification : ' ube der 

1 Ittickert's Hariri 1, 375. In the Novelas of Maria cle Zayas 1, 3 is a song 
oeginniug : 'si se rie el alva,' elsewhere she has ' quaudo el alva muestra su alegre 
risa ; ' conf. p. 502 on laughter that shakes one. The Ital. ' fare ridere una botta ' 
is an expressive phrase for shaking a cask so that it runs over. 

- Yet conf. UHG. morgan-rot, -roto, and -rota (Grail 2. 48G) ; MHG. ufgemler 
morgenrot (is it morgen rot?), Walth. 4, 6 ; but daz rnorgenrGt, Trist. 8285. 9402. 


tagerod sina facchelun inzundet habe/ have kindled his torches. 
And in urkunden we meet with a man's name Dagharot (Falke's 
Trad. corb. p. 5), also a place named ^ 'win-tag aroth (Hofer's 
Zeitschr. 2, 170). When OHG. glosses put tagarod for crepus- 
culum, it comes of unacquaintance with the Latin idiom ; it can 
be nothing but diluculum, aurora. In O.Fr. there is a woman's 
name Brunmatin = da,wn, Een. 15666. 15712. 164-41 [conn, with 
dagsbriin, Suppl.] . The ON. has no dagsrod, but it has solarrod 
aurora, Fornm. sog. 8, 346. [Suppl. adds 'meS dagroecFom,' 
Ssem. 24 a ]. The M. Nethl. has a second term dachgrake, 
dagherake (fern.), graken for the night's blackness brightening 
into gray ; so MHG. der grdwe tac, daz grdwe licht, MS. 2, 49 a , 
der tac wil grdwen, Wolfr. 4, 11; ' si kos den alten jungen 
grdwen grisen (tac)' ; ' junc unde grd der morgen uf gat/ MsH. 3, 
42 7 b (see Suppl.). 

After aurora follows the full morning, Goth, maurgins, OHG. 
morkan, OS. morgan, ON. morgun, strictly avptop. I suspect it 
has a sense allied to the day's ' breaking or bursting/ for the 
Goth, gamaiirgjan means to cut and shorten, like ginnen, secare 
(see Suppl.). 

To names for the rising day stand opposed those for the sink- 
ing. For oyjre, 6\frla Ulphilas puts andanahti, the times towards 
night, but also seipu (serum), as the Mod. Greeks call evening 
the slow, late, to fipdhv, and morning the swift, early, to tcixv, 
therefore also the short (conf. gamaiirgjan). The OHG. dpant, 
OS. dhand, AS. cefen, ON. aptan is of one root with aba, aftar, 
aptr, which expresses a falling off, a retrograde movement. The 
OHG. demar, our dammerung, stands especially for crepusculum, 
and is connected with AS. dim, Lith. tamsus, Slav, temni [dark, 
from tma, tenebrge] . AS. cefenrim, cefenglom crepusculum. What 
has peculiar interest for us, the Tagarod above is supported by 
an undoubtedly personal Apantrod, a giant of our heroic legend : 
Abentrot is the brother of Ecke and Fasolt, in both of whom we 
recognised phenomena of the sea and air (pp. 239. 636). If day 
was a godlike youth, morning and evening twilight may have 
been conceived as the giants Tagarod and Apantrod (see 
Suppl.). 1 

1 MHG. der abentrot, Walth. 30, 15 ; but ' do diu abentrot (f.) witen ir lieht der 
erden bot,' Uolricb 1488. 


To the Greeks and Romans 'Ho>?, Aurora, was a goddess, and 
she is painted in the liveliest colours. She rises from the couch 
(e/c Xe^eW, as our sun goes to bed, p. 71-0) of her husband 
Tithonos, Od. 5, 1; she is the early-born (rjpi<ykveia), the rosy- 
fingered (po8o8dicTv\o$, II. 1, 477) ; she digs her ruddy fingers 
into the clouds as day does his claws, p. 743 ; she is also called 
Xpvaodpovos golden-throned, like Hera and Artemis. The Slavs, 
instead of a goddess of dawn, appear to have had a god, Yutri- 
bogh (see Suppl.). 

There is another belief of the Slavs and Hungarians, which, 
having strayed over to us, must not be passed over in silence. 
In Hungary dawn is called hajnal (Esth. haggo), and the watch- 
men there cry to one another : ' hajnal vagyon szep piros, hajnal, 
hajnal vagyon ! ' aurora est (erumpit) pulcra purpurea, aurora, 
aurora est. The same word heynal, eynal is in use among the 
Poles, who cry: 'heynal swita ! ' aurora lucet (Linde 1,623). 
Now Dietmar of Merseburg tells us under the year 1017 (7, 50 
p. 858) : ' Audivi de quodam baculo, in cujus summitate manus 
erat, unum in se ferreum tenens circulum, quod cum pastore illius 
villae Silivellun (Selben near Merseb.), in quo (1. qua) is fuerat, 
per omnes domos has singulariter ductus, in primo introitu a 
portitore suo sic salutaretur : vigila Hennil, vigila ! sic enim 
rustica vocabatur lingua, et epulantes ibi delicate de ejusdem se 
tueri custodia stulti autumabant/ And, coming to our own 
times, I quote from Ad. Kuhn's Mark, sagen p. 330 : ' An old 
forester of Seeben by Salzwedel used to say, it was once the 
custom in these parts, on a certain day of the year, to fetch a tree 
out of the common- wood, and having set it up in the village, to 
dance round it, crying : Hennil, Hennil wache ! ' Can this have 
come out of Dietmar ? and can this ' Hennil, wake ! ' and 
'Hennil vigila ! ' so far back as the 11th cent, have arisen 
through misunderstanding the Hung, vagyon (which means ' est/ 
not ' vigilat ') ? Anyhow, the village watchman or shepherd, 
who went round to all the houses, probably on a certain day of 
the year, carrying the staff on which was a hand holding an iron 
ring, and who called out those words, seems to have meant by 
them some divine being. A Slovak song in Kollar (Zpievanky 
p. 247, conf. 447) runs thus : 


Hainal svita, giz den biely, H. shines, now day is white, 

stavayte velky i maly ! arise ye great and small ! 

dosti sme giz dluho spali. long enough have we now slept. 

Bohemian writers try to identify this Hajnal, Heynal, Hennil 
with a Servian or Bohemian god of herdsmen Honidlo ; l I know 
not how it may be about this god, but honidlo is neuter in form, 
and the name of a tool, it must have been gonidlo in Polish, and 
totally unconnected with eynal, heynal (see Suppl.) . 

We saw that the rising sun uttered a joyful sound, p. 741-2 
that the rustling dawn laughed, p. 747 ; this agrees with the 
oft-repeated sentiment, that the day brings bliss, the night sorroiv. 
We say, ' happy as the day/ and Shaksp. 'jocund day ' ; Eeinolt 
von der Lippe ' er verblide als der dag'; MS. 2, 192 of depart- 
ing day, ' der tac sin wunne verlat.' Especially do birds express 
their joy at the approach of day : ' geest inne swsef o]?]?a3t hrsefn 
blaca heofenes wynne blid'-heort bodode,' Beow. 3598 ; the heaven's 
bliss that the raven blithe-hearted announces is the breaking day. 
' I am as glad as the hawks that dewy-faced behold the dawn 
(dogglitir dagsbrun sid),' Ssem. 167 b ; ' nu verSr hann sva feginn, 
sem fugl degi/ Yilk. saga, cap. 39, p. 94; 'Horn was as fain o' 
fight as is the foule of the light when it ginneth dawe/ Horn and 
Rimen. 64, p. 307 ; 'ich warte der fro u wen min, reht als des tages 
diu kleinen vogellin,' MS. 1, 51 a ; ' froit sich min gemiiete, sam 
diu kleinen vogellin, so si sehent den morgenschin,' MS. 2, 102 b . 
Hence the multitude of poetic set-phrases that typify the break 
of day by the song of cocks (han-krat) or nightingales. Biarka- 
mal near the beginning : ' dagr er upp kominn, dynja hana 
fia'Srar,' cocks' feathers make a din. ' a la maiiana, quando los 
gallos cantaran,' Cid 317. f li coc cantoient, pres fu del esclairier.' 
' l'aube est percie, sesclere la jornee, cil oisellon chantent en la 
ramee.' ' biz des morgens vruo, daz diu nahtigal rief,' En. 12545 
(see Suppl.). 

Night is represented as swift, overtaking, taking unawares, 
dor) vv%, II. 10, 394, for does not she drive a chariot ? She falls 
or sinks from heaven, 'la nuit tombe, nuit tombante, a la tombe'e de 
la nuit; ' she bricht ein (breaks or bursts in, down), whereas day 
bricht an (on, forth) ; she gathers all at once, she surprises. In 

1 Jungmann 1, G70. 724. Hauuscli pp. 369-70. 


Matth. 14, 15, where the Vulg. has ' hora jam praeteriit/ Luther 
Germanizes it into ' die nacht fdllt daher' (on, apace) ; and O. 
Germ, already used the verbs ana gdn,fallan in this sense : aband 
unsih ana gelt, ther dag ist sines sindes, 0. v. 10, 8. in ane 
gdenda naht, N. Bth. 31. der abent begunde ane gdn, Mar. 171. 
schiere viel du diu naht an, Roth. 2653. do diu naht ane gie, Er. 
3108. unz daz der abent ane gie, Flore 3468. Ls. 1, 314. 
Wigal. 1927. 6693. als der abent ane get, Wigal. 4763. biz daz 
der abent ane lac, Ls. 1, 243. diu naht diu gat mich an, Wolfd. 
1174. diu naht get uns vaste zuo, Livl. chron. 5078. In the same 
way sigen (sink) : do der abent zuo seic, Diut. 3, 68. also iz zuo 
deme abande seic 3, 70. nu seig ouch der abent zuo, Frauend. 95, 
20. diu naht begunde zuo sigen, Rab. 102. begunde sigen an, 
367. do diu naht zuo seic, Dietr. 62 b . diu naht siget an, Ecke 
106. der abent seic ie naher, Gudr. 878, 1. ze tal diu sunne was 
genigen, und der abent zuo gesigen, Diut. 351, diu naht begunde 
sigen an, Mor. 1620. 3963. 1 diu tageweide diu wil hin (the day's 
delight it will away), der abent siget vaste zuo, Amgb. 2 a . der 
tach is ouch an uns gewant, uns siget der avent in die hant, 
Ssp. pref. 193. in der sinkenden naht, Cornel, releg., Magd. 
1605, F. 5\ in sinklichter nacht, Schoch stud. D. 4 a . And we 
still say ' till sinking night/ 3 Much the same are : nu der 
abent, diu naht zuo gejtoz (came flowing up), Troj. 13676. 10499. 
AS. 'aefen com sigeltorht swungen,' Andr. 1246. — But this set- 
ting in, gathering, falling can also come softly, secretly, like 
a thief: diu naht begunde slichen an (creep on), Dietr. 68 b . nvi 
was diu naht geslichen gar iiber daz gevilde (fields), Christoph. 
413. do nu diu naht her sleich, und diu vinster in begreif (dark- 
ness caught him) 376 : so thiu naht bifeng, Hel. 129, 16. do 
begreif in die nacht, Flcirsheim chron. in Miinch 3, 188. wie 
mich die nacht bcgrif, Simplic. 1, 18. hett mich die nacht schon 
begriffen, Gotz v. Berl. p. m. 164. In MHG. we find predicated 
of night ' ez benemen/ to carry off (the light ? the victory ?) : 
unz inz diu naht benam, Gudr. 879, 1. ne hete iz in diu naht 
benomen, Diut. 3, 81 (conf. Gramm. 4, 334). Hroswitha says, in 
Fides et spes : ' dies abiit, nox incumbit.' 

1 Both times ' segen' in text ; if sigen an (viucere) were meant, we should ex- 
pect the word day in the datiw. 

- Goethe Bays sweetly: For Evening now the earth was rocking, And on the 
mountains hung the ^sight. 


Clearly in many of these expressions Night is regarded as a 
hostile, evil power, in contrast to the kindly character of Day, who 
in tranquil ease climbs slowly up above the mountains ; hence 
night is as leisurely about ending, as she is quick in setting in : 
1 diu naht gemechlich ende nam/ slowly the night took ending, 
Frauend. 206, 21. ' Night is no man's friend ' says the proverb, 
as though she were a demon (see Suppl.). 

Between Day and Night there is perennial strife. Night does 
not rule till day has given up the contest : ' unz der tac liez sinen 
strit,' Parz. 423, 15. ( der tac nam ein ende, diu naht den sige 
gewan/ the victory won, Wolfd. 2025. ( do der tac verquam, und 
diu naht daz lieht nam,' En. 78G6. ' Nu begunde ouch struchen 
der tac, daz sin schin vil nach gelac, unt daz man durch diu 
wolken sach, des man der naht ze boten jach, manegen stern der 
balde gienc, wand er der naht herberge vienc. Nach der naht 
baniere kom sie selbe schiere.' x In this pleasing description 
the stars of evening precede the Night herself, as pioneers and 
standard-bearing heralds, just as the morning star was messenger 
of Day. 2 

On p. 742 we had a sunrise taken from the Titurel ; a de- 
scription of failing day, which immediately precedes, deserves to 
stand here too : 

Do diu naht zuo slichen 

durch nieman wolte lazen, 

und ir der tac entwichen 

muoste, er fuor sa wester hin die strdzen, 

also daz man die erd in sach verslinden, 

unz er ir moht empfliehen, 

do kund' er sich von orient u£ winden. 3 

Earth devours the departing day (see Suppl.). 

I find the older poets dwelling more on the sense of gloominess : 

i The Day 'gan founder then and fall, and much was shent his wonted sheen, 
till thro' the clouds might they be seen, whom couriers of the Night we call, full 
many a star that fleetly fares, and harbourage for her prepares. Next her banners, 
soon Night herself came on. 

2 Lucifer interea praeco scandebat Olympo, Walthar. 1188. Lucifer ducebat 
diem, Aen. 2, 801. Evening is called in S&nskr.rajanimukha, night's mouth, which 
reminds one of ' Hella's mouth : ' so is morning ahamukha, day's mouth. Bopp's 
gloss. 27 a . 28i b . 

3 Then Night came creeping on, for no man would she stay, and Day must 
needs be gone, retreating down the western way ; the earth devouring him thou 
eee'st, until that he might from her flee, then could he hoist him up from east. 


vv% 6p<pvai7j the dusky, in Homer. ' tho wartli aband cuman, nalit 
mid neflu,' Hel. 170, 25. ' die Jinn tere racjende nacht/ gloomy low- 
ring (jutting), Schreckensgast, Ingolst. 1590, p. 114. 'die eiteJe 
und Jinntere nacht,' Kornmann's Mons Ven. 329. ' nipende niht/ 
Beow. 1088. 1291, conf. genip (caligo). ' scaduhelm/ Beow. 1293. 
' nihthelm geswearc deorc ofer dryhtguman ' 3576. 'nihthelm to 
glad/ Andr. 123. El. 78 : to. her, as a goddess, is ascribed, quite 
iu the spirit of our olden time, a terrible and fearful helmet, like a 
cloak-of-darkness, 'niht helmade' (put on her helmet) we are told 
in Andr. 1306. Still finer perhaps is that ' eye of black night/ 
KeXatvi]<; vvktos ofM/xa in Aeschylus (Pers. 428) for thick dark- 
ness as opposed to the bright eye of night, the moon, p. 702 
(see Suppl.). 1 

The poetic images I have here collected remove all doubt as to 
Day and Night having been in the remotest antiquity both alive 
and divine. But the sentiment must very early have lost some 
of its hold over the Teutons, from the time they laid aside that 
name for day, which of itself bespoke his kinship with the gods. 

Reckoning by nights instead of days does indeed rest on the 
observance of lunar time (p. 708), but may have another reason 
too, the same that prompted men to count winters and not sum- 
mers. The heathens used to fix their holy festivals for, or prolong 
them into, the night, especially those of the summer and winter 
solstices, as we see by the Midsummer and Christmas fires ; the 
fires of Easter and May also bear witness to festal nights. The 
Anglo- Saxons kept a hcerjestniht (ON. haustnott, haustgrima), 
the Scandinavians a hukunott (F. Magn. Lex. 1021). Beda in his 
De temp. rat. cap. 13 has preserved a notable piece of informa- 
tion, though its full meaning is beyond our ken : ' Incipiebant 
annum (antiqui Anglorum populi) ab octavo cal. Jan. die, ubi nunc 
natale Domini celebramus ; et ipsam noctem, nunc nobis sacro- 
sanctam, tunc gentili vocabulo modranecht (modra niht), 3 i.e. ma- 
trum noctem appellabant ob causam, ut suspicamur, ceremoniarum 
quas in ea pervigiles agebant/ Who were these mothers ? 

1 Images now familiar to us, about quenching the lamps of day, I have not met 
with iu the old poets ; but the night burns her tapers too. Shaksp. describes the 
end of night by ' night's candles are burnt,' lioin. & J. 3, 5. 

2 Afzelius 1, 4. 13 has no right to speak of a modernatt, which is not founded 
on Norse docs., but simply borrowed from Beda. [Can 'modie niht ' have meant 
' muntere nacht,' wakeful night ? conf. ' pervigiles.'] 


The Seasons, which, like day and night, depended on the near- 
ness or distance of the sun, have maintained their personality a 
great deal more vigorously and distinctly. Their slow revolution 
goes on with a measured stateliness, while the frequent change of 
day and night soon effaced the recollection of their having once 
been gods. 

Day and night resemble summer and winter in another point, 
viz. that the break of day and the arrival of summer are greeted 
with joyful songs by the birds, who mourn in silence during night 
and winter. Hence the Eddie kenningar of gle&L fugla (laetitia 
volucrum) for summer, and sut ok strid' fugla (dolor et angor 
avium) for winter. This sympathy of nature finds utterance no 
end of times in the lays of our minnesingers (see Suppl.). 

The olden time seems at first to have recognised only two 
seasons in the year, afterwards three, and lastly four. To this 
the very names bear witness. Our jahr, Goth, jer, OHG-. jar, M. 
Nethl. jaer, OS. ger, AS. gear, Engl, year, ON. dr, is plainly the 
Pol. iar, iaro, Boh. gar, garo, which signify spring. 1 In the 
same way the Slavic Veto, lieto, liato, strictly summer, and seem- 
ingly akin to our lenz, OHG. lenzo, lengiz, MHG. lenze, lengez,- 
AS. lencten, lengten (lent, spring) has come by degrees to cover 
the whole year. Thus both jar and leto mean the warmer season 
(spring or summer) ; and southern nations reckoned by them, as 
the northern did by winters. 

Ulphilas renders eros by jer, and iviavTos either by a}>n, Gal. 
4, 10, or atafrni, John 18, 13, a word that has died out of our 
language everywhere else, but still lingers in the Gothic names 
Athanagildus, Athanaricus (Ajmagilds, AJmareiks) ; it seems 

1 The Pol. iar looks like eap, but this is understood to be for Fiap, Fiaap, Lat. 
ver for verer, veser, closely conn, with Lith. wasara (aestas) and Sanskr. vasanta, 
Benfey 1, 309. Of the same root seems the Slav, vesna, wiosna (spring), but hardly 
the ON. vasa'Sr, which means sharp winter. 



akin to eVo?, perhaps to the Slavic god, godina, which in Russ. 
and Serv. mean a year, while in O.SL they stood, as the Pol. 
god, Boh. hod, hodine still stand, for time in general. The 
relation between eVo? and eviavro? remains uncertain, for in Od. 
1, 16 (eVo? Trepi7r\ofj,iva)v ivtavroiv, a year went past with 
circling seasons) eviavroi are sections of a year, while other 
accounts make an eviavro? contain three err). This comp. 
iviavros holds in it the simple eVo<?, Lat. annus 1 (see Suppl.). 

The year was supposed to make a circle, a ring (orbis, circulus) : 
jares umbi-hring, jdr-hring, umbi-huurft ; MHG. jares umbe-ganc, 
-ring, -vart, -trit; and the completion and recommencement of 
this ring was from a very early period the occasion of solemn 
festivities. Eligius preaches : ' nullus in kal. Jan. nefanda aut 
ridiculosa, vetulos aut cervulos aut joticos faciat, neque mensas 
super noctem componat, neque strenas aut bibitiones superfluas 
exerceat.' This was apparently a Celtic and Roman custom, 
' strenae ineunte anno' are mentioned by Suetonius (Cal. 42. Aug. 
57), and the holy mistletoe was plucked amid joyful cries of 
1 a-gui-lan-neuf ! ' [Michelet 2, 17: guy-na-ne, maguillanneu, 
gui-gne-leu. Suppl.]. Nothing of the kind seems to have been 
known in Germany ; but it is worth while to notice the New- 
year's hymns and wishes in Clara Hiitzlerin's book as late as the 
14th cent. (57 b . 77 a , espec. 196 — 201 in Haltaus's ed.) where the 
year is pictured as a newborn babe, a newborn god, who will grant 
the wishes of mortals. Immediately, no doubt, this referred to 
Christmas and the Saviour's birth, in places where the new year 
began with that day ; yet some heathen practices seem to have 
got mixed up with it too, and I cannot overlook the use in these 
hymns of the bare adj. new, without the addition of 'year' or 
f child' (just as in naming the new-moon, p. 710, ny, niuwi) : 
[ f des gunn dir alles der newgebom ! ' this the Newborn grant 
thee all, Hatzl. 196 b . So in other new-year's wishes : ' wunsch 
ich dir am vil gut jar zu disem new/ Wolkenst. p. 167. ' gen 
disem saeligen guoten neiven,' Ad. Keller's Altd. ged. p. 10. — 

Otherwise I hardly find the year as a lohole (conf. the riddle, 
p. 737) exalted into a person, except in adjurations, spells and 

1 For amnus, says Bopp's Gloss. Skr. 16>> ; Benfey 1, 310 explains ivtavrus by 
Skr. amaTat, ivt) beiug ania, ne'w-inoon. 


curses : ' sani mir daz heilecjdr ! ' so (help) me holy year, Ls. 1, 
287. Haupt's Zeitschr. 7, 104. The two following refer to the 
year's commencement only : ' ein scelec jar gang dich an ! ' a 
blessed year betide thee, Ls. 3, 111 ; and ' daz dich ein veiges jar 
miiez ane komen ! ' a doomed (fey) year be thy dole, Ls. 1, 317. 
In AS. f o3 ]?8et o'Ser com gear in geardas/ Beow. 2260 (see 

But even in the earliest times the year had fallen into halves, 
to which AS. and ON. give the curious name of missere, misseri, 
and the AS. poems seem to reckon chiefly by these. We find 
' missera worn/ store of m., Casdm. 71, 10; ' fela missera ' 180, 
23. Beow. 306; ' hund missera/ Beow. 2996. 3536 = the 50 
winters in 4413; f misserum fr6d, missarum fr6d/ Casdin. 104, 
30. .141, 16 (wise with age, like 'gearum, deegrime, fyrndagum 
frod/ Gramm. 1, 750). In the Edda I find only 212 ab , <ein 
misseri' (per unum annum), and 'sams misseris' (eodem anno) ; 
but the Gragas has also misseri (semestrium). The etymology of 
the word is not easy : one would expect to find in it the words 
half (medius, dimidius) and year, but the short vowel of the 
penult conflicts with the ON. ar and AS. gear, and it appears 
to be masc. besides (einn misseri, not eitt m.) ; the ON. misseri 
(bad year, annonae caritas, neut.) is quite another thing. Again, 
why should the d of the AS. midde (Goth, midja, OHG. mitti) 
have passed into ss ? It must be admitted however, that in 
the relation of Lat. medius to Goth, midja we already observe a 
distm-bance in the law of change ; misseri may have come down 
and continued from so remote an antiquity that, while in appear- 
ance denying its kindred, it will have to own them after all, and 
the ' miss ' is in the same predicament as the Gr. fxiaos, /j,eacro<; 
compared with Sanskr. madhyas, ov /3va<r6<i =/3vdo<;. No ' mis- 
seri, missiri ' meets us in the OHG. remains, but the lost hero- 
lays may have known it, as even later usages retain the reckoning 
by half-years ; when the Hildebr.-lied says ' ih wallota 
enti wintro sehstic ur lante/ it means only 60 misseri (30 sum- 
mers and 30 winters), which agrees with the '30 years' of the 
more modern folk-song; and we might even guess that the 
'thirteen years' and 'seven years' in Nib. 1082 and 1327, 2, 
which make Chriemhild somewhat old for a beauteous bride, were 
at an older stage of the epos understood of half-years. In the 


North, -where winter preponderates, so many winters stood for 
so many years, and 'tolf vetra gamall' means a twelve-year-old. 
That in OHG. and even MHG. summer and winter represent the 
essential division of the year, I infer even from the commonly 
used adverbs sumerlanc, winterlanc, while we never hear of a 
lengezlanc or herbestlanc; the ON. sumarlangr, vetrlangr, are 
supplemented by a haustlangr (the whole autumn) . 

The Greek year has only three seasons, eap, depot, x €i ^ v ' 
autumn is left out. Our two great anniversaries, the summer 
and winter solstices, marked off two seasons; the harvest-feast 
at the end of Sept. and the fetching-in of summer are perhaps 
sufficient proof of a third or fourth. The twofold division is 
further supported by the AS. terms midsumor and midwinter, 
ON. micfsumar, micfvetr, which marked the same crises of solstice, 
and had no midhearfest to compete with them ; an AS. midlenden 
(Engl, midlent) does occur, and is about equivalent to our mit- 
fasten. Now in what relation did the missere stand to midsumor 
and midwinter ? The day (of 24 hours) likewise fell into two 
halves of 12 hours each, the AS. dogor, ON. dcegr ; and dogor 
bears the same relation to dasg as missere to gear. Our ancient 
remains have no tuogar attending upon tac, but a Gothic dogr by 
the side of dags may be inferred from fidurdugs and ahtaudogs 
in Ulphilas (see Suppl.). 

Tacitus, after saying that the Germans cultivate grain only, 
and neither enclose meadows nor plant orchards, adds : ' unde 
annum quoque ipsum non in totidem digerunt species : hiems et 
ver et aestas intellectum ac vocabula habent; auctumni perinde 
nomen ac bona ignorantur/ Here auctumnus evidently refers to 
garden-fruit and aftermath, while the reaping of com is placed 
in summer, and the sowing in spring. But when we consider, 
that North Germany even now, with a milder climate, does not 
get the grain in till August and September, when the sun is 
lower down in the sky ; and that while August is strictly the 
ernte-month ! and Sept. the herbst-month, yet sometimes Sept. 
is called the augstin and October the herbst-month; theTacitean 
view cannot have been universally true even in the earliest times. 
Neither does tho OHG. herpist, herbist, AS. hearfest, seem at 

1 OHG. aranmanut, from aran (messis), Goth, asans ; the O.Saxons said 
beivud or beo, Hel. 78, 1-1. 79, 14; Nethl. louw, bouwd. 


all younger than other very old words. More correct surely is 
the statement we made before, that as we go further north in 
Europe, there appear but two seasons in all, summer and winter ; 
and as we go south, we can distinguish three, four, or even five. 1 
Then also for mythical purposes the two seasons are alone avail- 
able, though sometimes they are called spring and winter, or 
spring and autumn 3 (see Suppl.). 

With the Goth, vintrus (hiems) we have a right to assume a 
masc. sumrus exactly like it, though Ulph. in Mk 13, 28 (and 
prob. in Matth. 24, 32 and Lu. 21, 30) rendered depot by asans 
(harvest-time). The declension follows from OHG. sumar = 
sumaru (for a Goth, sumrs of 1 decl. would bring in its train 
an OHG. somar) ; also from AS. sumor with dat. sumera, not 
sumere. The ON. sumar being neut. in the face of a masc. vetr, 
OHG. wintar, AS. winter, seems inorganic; it must have been 
masc. once. The root assumed in my Gramm. 2, 55 runs upon 
sowing and reaping of crops. 

The Edda takes us at once into the genealogy of these two 
worthies. Sumar is the son of Svasu&r (Seem. 34 b . Sn. 23. 127), 
a name derived from svas (carus, proprius, domesticus), Goth, 
sves, OHG. suas, for he is one that blesses and is blest, and after 
him is named all that is sweet and blithe (svaslegt, blitt). But 
the father of Vetr is named Vindloni or Vindsvalr (windbringer, 
windcool), whose father again was VdsacFr (ibid.) the dank and 
moist : a grim coldhearted kindred. But both sets, as we should 
anticipate, come before us as giants, SvasuSr and Sumar of a 
good friendly sort, Vasa$r, Vindsvalr and Vetr of a malignant ; 

1 Spaniards divide spring into primavera and verano (great spring), see Don 
Quix. 2, 53 and Ideler 6, 305. After verano comes estio, Fr.ete, both masc., while 
Ital. esta, estate remains fem, like aestas. 

2 The Slavs too, as a race, hold with two principal seasons : summer and year 
are both leto, i.e. the old year ends with winter, and with summer the new begins ; 
leto, like ou'r jahr, is neut., and of course impersonal. Winter they call zima 
(fern.). When intermediate seasons have to be named, they say podleti (subaestas) 
for spring, podzim (subhiems) for autumn. But other names have also come into 
vogue, beside the garo, iaro above: Russ. and Boh. vesna, Pol. iviosna; Sloven. 
vy-qred (e-grediens, in Germ. Carinthia auswdrt), mlado leto (young summer), 
viladletie,po-mland, s-pomlad, s-prot-Utie (fr. s-prot, against), all denoting spring; 
the South Slavs espec. felt the need of parting spring from summer. Autumn is 
in Serv. yisen, Sloven, yezen or predzima (prae-hiems), Russ. osen. Zima must be 
very old.'Lith! ziema, Gr. x"/*^". Lat - hiems, Skr. hemanta. Our fruhling, fruhjahr 
(early year) is neither 0. nor MHG., but formed during the last few cents, on the 
model of printemps or primavera ; spoiling, spatjahr (late year) is also used for 
autumn. On auswarts and einwarts conf. Schm. 1, 117. 4, 161. 

SUMMER. 750 

so that here again the twofold nature of giants (p. 528-9) is set 
in a clear light. The Skaldskaparnial puts them down among the 
ancient iotnar: 209 b Somr (al. Somir) ok Svasuftr, 210 a Vindsvalr 
ok Vitfarr (1. Vetr). Even now Summer and Winter are much 
used as proper names, and we may suppose them to have been 
such from the beginning, if only because [as names of seasons] 
they do not agree with any in the Non-Teutonic tongues. An 
urkunde in Neugart no. 373 (as early as a.d. 958) introduces us 
to two brothers named Wintar and Sumar. Graff 1, 631 has the 
proper name Wintarolf in the augmentative form (see p. 762 n.) 

Now I will produce plain marks of their personality, which 
have long maintained themselves in popular phrases and poetic 
turns of speech. We say every day : Summer, Winter is at the 
door, comes in, sets in. H. Sachs iv. 3, 21 a : ' till Summer step 
this way/ : In MHG. the one is commonly called lieb (lief, 
dear), the other leid (loathly, sad) : ' der Hebe Sumer urloup 
genam/ took leave, Ben. 344. 'urloup nam der Winder,' 362. 
Both are provided with a retinue : ' Sumer, dine holden (retainers) 
von den huoben sint gevarn/ 304. ( Sumer, din gesinde,' 406. 
' min sane siile des Winters ivdpen tragen/ my song should W/s 
livery wear, MS. 1, 178 b . ' Winder ist mit sinen vriunden komen/ 
Ben. 414. Evidently they have marched up with their men, each 
with intent to war upon and chase away his foe : ' der leide 
Winder hat den Sumer hin verjaget/ 381. f er (der Winter) ist dir 
gehaz, er en-weiz niht umbe waz, selten er des ie vergaz, swenne 
er dinen stuol besaz, er en-ructe in viir baz, sin gewalt wol tusend 
ellen viir den dinen gat/ he hateth thee, he wot not why ; he 
seldom forgat, when thy chair he besat, but he pushed it further ; 
his power passeth thine, etc. MsH. 3, 258. Ben. 303. * Winter* 
hat ez hie gerumet ' cleared out, Ben. 437. — Again, as summer 
begins with May , we have that month acting as its representative, 
and just as full of life and personality. (All three receive the 
title of lord : ' min herre Winter ! ' MsH. 3, 267 a . ' her Meie ! ' 
3, 443 b . ' her Meige ! ' Walth. 46, 30). May makes his entry : 
' su der Meige in gat,' Meist. Alex. 144 b . f so der vil siieze 
Meige in gat,' Trist. 537. ' Meige ist komen in diu lant/ Ms. 1, 

1 Alse die Somer quam int lant, Reinaert 2451. alse de Sommcr queme int 
lant, Beineke 2311. do hero de Summer trat, Wiggert 2, 48. 

- "Without article, therefore not com. noun ; conf. p. 704 note, Solaus. 



13 b . Ben. 364. ' der Meie sin ingesinde hat/ has Ms retinue 1, 
14 b . « des Meien tilr ist uf getdn, MsH. 3, 296 a . ' der Mei ist in 
den landen hie ' 3, 230 a . ' so der Meie sinen Tcrame schouwen 
lat (his store displays), unde in gat mit vil manigem liehten 
male ' 30, 30 b . ' vil manager hande varwe (full many a hue) 
hat in sinem Tcrame der Meige/ MS. 1, 59 a . f der Meie hat 
brieve fiir gesant, daz sie kiinden in diu lant sine kunft den 
vruoten/ Ben. 433; like a king who after a long absence 
returns victorious, he sends letters on before, to announce his 
coming. f da ist der Meie und al sin kraft, er und sin geselle- 
schaft diu (sic 1.) ringent manige swsere (lighten many a 
burden); Meie hat im angesiget' overcome him (winter), Ben. 
449. ' ich lobe dich, Meie, diner kraft, du tuost Burner sigehaft/ 
thou makest S. victorious (both prop, n.), MS. 2, 57 a . ' ob der 
Meige ze velde lac/ Ls. 1, 199. ( so der Meige alrerst in gat' 
Frauend. 14. ' der Mei hat sin gezelt bestelt,' set up his tents, 
camp, MsH. 3, 303 b . ' des Meien seliilt,' 3, 307 a . ' Sumer der 
hat sin gezelt nu gerihtet liberal/ Ms. 2, 57 a . 'des Meien 
waldencere kiindet an die sumerzit/ May's forester announces 
summertide, MsH. 3, 230 b . f die (waldes ougenweide, forest's 
eye-feast) hat der Meie fiir gesant, daz si kiinden in diu lant sin 
kunft ' 3, 22 7 b . ' der Meie viieret den wait an siner liende/ leads 
the wood by the hand, MS. 2, 81 b ; he is provided with hands 
(like Wish, p. 142). Men worship him with thanks and bowing, 
like a king or god making his progress (p. 213, Freyr) ; like 
them he has his strete (highway) : ' des Meigen straze/ Ben. 42. 
1 uf des Meien strdzen,' MS. 23 a . ' Meie, ich wil dir nigen,' bow 
to, Ben. 398. ' erent den Meien/ Ben. 184. MsH. 1, 147 a - b . 
' der Meie habe des danc ! ' thanks thereof, 1 Ben. 434. May and 
Summer put on their verdant attire : ' der Meie ist uf sin grilenez 
zwi gesezzen/ MS. 2, 75 a . May hears complaints, he commands 
his flowers, 1, 3 b . f des Meigen vriunt (attendant), der griiene 
wase (sward), der het uz bluomen angeleit (laid on) so wiinecliche 
sumerkleit/ Trist. 562. ' der Sumer sneit sin kleit/ Ben. 159. 
' der Meie sendet dem walde kleider' 436. 'der Sumer gab diu 

1 In Gramm. 4, 725 is a coll. of the oft-recurring phrases ' des Meigen ere 
(honour), d. M. giiete, des Sumers gilete (goodness),' which seem to imply an ancient 
worship (p. 29, era). I add a few more references : MsH. 1, 52 a . 6CK 61 a . 194*. 
305 a . 348 b . 3, 222 b . Notice : ' Got gebe daz der herbest sin ere volbringe ! ' that 
autumn his worship fulfil, MS. 2, 18U a . 

WINTER. 761 

selben kleit, Abrelle maz, dor Meie sneit/ April measured, May- 
cut out, MS. 2, 94. b . ' diu (kleider) liet gegeben in (to them) 
der Meie z'einer niuwen wat (weeds, clothing)/ MsH. 3, 286 b . 
' Mei hat enprozzen berg und tal ' 3, 188 b . ' Sumer hat gesendet 
uz sin wunne, der Meie spreit iif diu lant sin wat ' (2, 291). 1 ' der 
bliienden heide voget (heath's controller) ist mit gewalt iif uns 
gezoget (has rushed), hcert wi er mit winde broget (blusters) iif 
wait und im gevilde/ MsH. 1, 193 a (see Suppl.). 

But more especially does the antithesis demand attention. In 
Winter's train come Rime and Snoiv, still personifications, and 
giants from of old (p. 532). They declare war against Summer: 
'dir hat widerseit beidiu llif and Sue,' Ben. 398. 'der Meie loste 
bluomen uz Rifen bande' 437. 'manegen tac stark in sinen 
banden lac diu heide (the heath lay fast in Winter's bonds) ; uns 
was verirt der wunne hirt von des argen Winter's nit/ long did 
we miss our shepherd of bliss by wicked W.'s envy, MsH. 1, 
192 a . ' der W. und sine Tcnechte (his men), daz ist der Rife und 
der Wind, 3 Hartm. erst, biichl. 834. MsH. 3, 232 a . What 
Summer clothed, Winter strips bare: ' iiber diu oven 2 er dem 
wald sin kleider brack/ tore the wood's clothes over his ears 
(ibid.), 'da daz niuwe loup (leafage) e was entsprungen, des 
hastu nu gevullet dinen sac' 2, 386 b ; like an enemy or robber, 
he fills his sack with booty (saccage). 'bluomen unde loup was 
des Rifen erster roup (first plunder), den er in die secke schoup 
(shoved into his sacks), er euspielt in noch enkloup/ Ben. 304. 
Yet, 'sunder Rifen danc, allez griienez in froiden lit/ no thanks 
to Jack Frost, all green things are in glee, MS. 1, 34 b . 'unbe- 
sungen ist der wait, daz ist allez von des Rifen ungenaden (ill- 
will) komen/ Ben. 275. Wizlau in one song exclaims : ' Winder, 
dich vorhote (take heed) ! der Sumer komt ze mote/ to meet 
thee, Amgb. 29 a ; and Walther 39, 9 : ' weizgot, er kit ouch dem 
Meien den strit/ Winter gives up the battle ; conversely, ' der 
Sumer sinen strit dem Winder liit/ Warnung 2386. And, what 
is more than all, one poem 3 has preserved even the mythic name 

1 So that ' des Meigen wdt, kleit ' MS. 2, 105-6-7 is a metaphor for foliage, and 
' boten (messengers) des Suineres ' 1, 97 b for flowers. 

- ' Walt h:it oren, velt hat gesiht,' wood has ears, field has sight, MS. 2, 131 a ; 
1 velt hat 6ren, wait hat ougen,' eyes, 135 b . 

3 Nithart's, Ben. 384. To this poet we owe the liveliest images of Summer 
and Winter. 


of the Rime-giant : it is Aucholf, formed just with the suffix -olf, 
which like -olt is characteristic of monstrous ghostly beings ; l 
the root auka, QHG. ouhhu, means augeo, so that Oucholf may 
contain the notion of enormous, gigantic 2 (see Suppl.). 

Summer and Winter are at war with one another, exactly like 
Day and Night (p. 752) ; Day and Summer gladden, as Night 
and Winter vex the' world. 3 

Now the arrival of Summer, of May, or as we now say, of 
Spring, was kept as a holiday from of old. In the Mid. Ages 
this was called die zit empfdhen, welcoming the season, MS. 1, 
200 a . 2, 78 b . Ben. 453 ; die zit mit sange begen (keep), Misc. 
2, 198; den Sumer empfdhen, MsH. 3, 207 a . 21 l a . 232 a . ' Sumer, 
wis (be) empfangen von mir hundert tusent stunt (times) ! ' Ben. 
328. 'vrouwen und man empfiengen den Meien/ MsH. 3, 185 b . 
'dawartder Mei empfangen wol ' 3, 218 b . 219 a . ' den Meigen 
enpf alien und tanzen'' 1, 47 b . ( nu woluf griiezen (greet) wir den 
siiezen ! ' 1, 60 b . 'ich wil den Sumer griiezen' 3, 446 b . ' helfent 
grilezen mir den Meien/ MS. 1, 202 b . ' si (diu vogellin, small 
fowl) wellent alle griiezen nu. den Meien ' 2, 8 i b . ' willeJcome her 
Meige ! ' 1, 57 b . ' sit willeJcome her Meie ! ' 1, 59 a . e so wol dir, 
lieber Sumer, daz du komen bist ! ' MsH. 2, 316 b . A song in 
Eschenburg's Denkm. 458 has the burden ' willkommen Maie ! ' 
(see Suppl.). 

But the coming in of Summer did not happen on any fixed 
day of the year, it was determined by accidental signs, the open- 
ing of flowers, the arrival of birds. This was called finding 
Summer : ' ich han den Sumer vimden,' MsH. 3, 202 b . 

Whoever had spied ' den ersten viol ' 4 made it known ; the 
whole village ran to the spot, the peasants stuck the flower on a 
pole, and danced around it. On this subject also Nithart has 
some spirited songs, MsH. 3, 298-9 ; conf. 202 a (den ersten viol 

1 Gramm. 2, 334—40; conf. Nahtolf, Biterolf, Egisgrimolt (p. 238), Fasolt 
(p. 529), Mimerolt (p. 379), Kobolt (p. 414). 

2 A MHG. poet paints the battle between May and Autumn, in a pretty story 
(Fragm. 29), but it does not come within the mythic province, conf. MS. 2, 105. 
More to the point is H. Sachs's poem 1, 420-1. A M. Nethl. ' spel van den winter 
ende sommer ' is printed in Hoffm. hor. belg. 6, 125 — 146. Notker in Cap. 27 calls 
' herbest unde lenzo, zwene genoza,' fellows twain. 

3 The Fris. Laws too couple night with winter : ' si ilia tenebrosa nebula et 
frigidissima hiems in hortos et sepes descendit,' Richth. 46 (huersa thiu thiustera 
nacht and thi nedkalda winter ur tha tuner hleth). 

4 Florum prima ver nuntiantium viola alba, Pliny 21, 11 (38). 


schouwen). H. Sachs iv. 3, 49 seq. describes the same festival; 
round the first summer flower they dance and sing. ' den ersteu 
bluomen vlehten,' MS. 1, 41 b (see Suppl.). 

That the first cockchafer also was fetched in with ceremonies, 
we saw on p. 693-4 ; to this day the passion for hunting these 
chafers and playing with them is indestructibly rooted among 

In like manner the first swallow, the first stork was hailed as 
messenger of spring (ayyeXo? eapo<;). The swallow's return was 
celebrated even by the Greeks and Romans: Athenaeus 8, 15 p. 
360 gives a ^eXiSovio-fia, 1 chanted by children at Rhodes, who 
carried a swallow about and collected eatables. The custom still 
survives in Greece; the young people assemble on March 1, and 
traverse all the streets, singiug a sweet spring-song ; the singers 
carry a swallow carved out of wood, which stands on a cylinder, 
and keeps turning round. 2 ' Hirundine prima,' says Horace 
Epist. i. 7, 13. That in Germany also the first swallow was taken 
notice of in the Mid. Ages, is shewn by the superstitious obser- 
vance (Sup. G, and I, 217) of digging a coal out of the ground 
on her appearance. In Sweden the country folk welcome her 
with a thrice repeated shout of joy (Westerdahl p. 55). Both 
swallow and stork are accounted sacred inviolable creatures. He 
that first announced the return of the stork to the Greeks, 
received messenger's pay. As late as last century the warders 
of many German towns were required to blow-in the approaching 
herald of spring, z and a drink of honour was served out to them 
from the town-cellar. An epigram by Joach. Olearius begins : 

Ver laetum rediit, rediitque ciconia grata, 
aspera dum pulso frigore cessat hiems. 1 

The cuckoo may also be regarded as the announcer of spring, 
and an O.Engl, song appeals to him : ' sumer is icumen in, lltudc 
sing cucu ! ' Hone's Daybook 1, 739 (see Suppl.). 

The proclaiming of summer by songs of the younger folk still 

1 Il»en. opusc. pbilol. 1, 165. Zell's Ferienscbr. 1, 53. 88. Schneidewin's 
Delectus 2, -165-6. 

- Fauriel 2, 256. Disc. prclirn. xxviii. More fully iu Tbcod. Kind p. 12. 

' s Alpenrosen (Bern 1817) p. 49 ; conf. Hebel's song Der storch. 

* Rostock Kilo ; conf. Job. Praetorius's ' Storcbs und schwalben-'winterquartier,' 
Franef. 1676, p. 185. 


prevails, or did prevail in recent centuries, almost everywhere in 
German and Slav countries, and bespeaks a very ancient origin. 
What the minnesingers, with their elegant phrases about the old 
'chair, entiy, highway, grace and glory of Summer ' as a king 
or god, may have led us to guess, is supplemented and illus- 
trated by abiding customs of the people, which in rude artless 
fashion drive at the main point. The modes of celebration and 
the songs vary greatly. 1 Often there is only a wreath, a doll, an 
animal carried about in a basket, and gifts demanded from house 
to house. 2 Here it is a cock, there a crow or a fox, 3 that the 
children take round, as in Poland at the time of coleda (new- 
year) they go about with a stuffed wolf, collecting gifts (Lindo 
sub v. koleda). These animals do not migrate, and I leave it 
undetermined, what right they can have to represent the stork 
or swallow, or whether they mean something altogether different. 
The approach of Summer is only mentioned in a few words and 
phrases, or not at all. 

In many places however the collecting of gifts is only the 
sequel to a previous performance full of meaning, in which youths 
and maidens take part. Two disguised as Summer and Winter 
make their appearance, the one clothed with ivy or singriln, the 
other with straw or moss, and they fight one another till Summer 
ivins. Winter is thrown on the ground, his wrappages stripped 
off and scattered, and a summer's wreath or branch is carried 
about. Here we have once moi'e the ancient idea of a quarrel or 
war between the two powers of the year, in which Summer comes 
off victorious, and Winter is defeated ; the people supply, as it 
were, the chorus of spectatoi's, and break out into praises of the 

1 The most diligent collector of them, though in a scattered disorderly way, is 
Chr. Heinr. Schmid of Giessen, both in the 'Journal von und fur D.' for 1787. 1, 
186-98. 480-5 ; for 1788. 1, 566-71. 2, 409-11 ; for 1790. 1, 310-4 ; for 1791. 1002 ; 
and in the ' Deutsche monatschrift ' for 1798. 2, 58-67 ; he gives references to a 
great many authors old and new. A still earlier article in 'Journal v. u. f. D.' for 
1784. 1, 282 is worth consulting. Isolated facts in Krunitz's Encyclop. 58, 681 
seq., Grater's Idunna 1812 p. 41, Biisching's Woch. nachr. 1, 183-6. 3, 166 and 
other places to be cited as they are wanted. The two earliest treatises are by Paul 
Chr. Hilscher ' de ritu Dominicae Laetare, quern vulgo appellant den tod austreiben,' 
Lips. 1690 (in Germ. 1710), and Joh. Casp. Zeumer 'de Dominica Laetare,' Jena 

2 Let the summer-children sell you a summer, and your cows will give plenty 
of milk, Sup. I, 1097. 

3 Eeinhart, Introd. p. ccxix. Athen. also, ubi supra, speaks of a crow being 
carried about, instead of the swallow. 


The custom just described belongs chiefly to districts on the 
middle Rhine, beyond it in the Palatinate, this side of it in the 
Odenwald betwixt Main and Neckar. Of the songs that are sung 
I give merely the passages in point : 

Trarira ! der Sommer der ist da ; 
wir wollen hinaus in garten 
und wollen des Sommers warten (attend). 
wir wollen hinter die hecken (behind the hedges) 
und wollen den Sommer wecken (wake). 
der Winter liats verloren (has lost), 
der Winter liegt gefangen (lies a prisoner) ; 
und wer nicht dazu kommt (who won't agree), 
den schlagen wir mit stangen (we'll beat with staves). 
Elsewhere : Jajaja ! der Sommertag x ist da, 

er kratzt dem Winter die augen aus (scratch W.'s 

eyes out), 
und jagt die bauern zur stube hinaus (drive the 

boors out of doors). 
Or : Stab aus ! ~ dem Winter gehn die augen aus (W.'s 

eyes come out) ; 
veilchen, rosenblumen (violets and roses), 
holen wir den Sommer (we fetch), 
schicken den Winter iiber 'n Bhein (send W. over 

bringt uns guten kiihlen wein. 
Also : Violen und die blumen 

bringen uns den Sommer, 

der Sommer ist so keck (cheeky, bold), 

und wirft den Winter in den drecJc (flings W. in the 

Or : Stab aus, stab aus, 

bias dem Winter die augen aus (blow W/s eyes out) ! 

Songs like this must have come down through many centuries ; 
and what I have quoted above from poets of the 13th cent, pre- 

1 For Sommer ? conf. Baddrcg for Bealdor, p. 222-9, and Day, p. 738. 

2 Also ' stain ana ' or l xta mavs,' and ' heib aus, treib aus, dem W. ist ein aug' 
aus.' Stabaus may be for ataubaim = up and away, Schm. 3, 002 ; conf. Zingerle 
2, 147. 


supposes their existence, or that of songs substantially the same. 
The conception and setting of the whole are quite heathenish : 
valiant Summer found, fetched, wakened from his sleep ; van- 
quished Winter rolled in the dust, thrown into chains, beaten 
with staves, blinded, banished ; these are demigods or giants of 
antiquity. Violets are mentioned with evident reference to the 
welcoming of Summer. In some parts the children march out 
with white peeled rods, either for the purpose of helping Summer 
to belabour the foe, or perhaps to represent the retinue of Winter, 
for it was the old custom for the conquered and captive to be let 
go, carrying white staves (RA. 134). One of the band of boys, 
marching at their head wrapt in straw, stands for Winter, another 
decked with ivy for Summer. First the two fence with their poles, 
presently they close and wrestle, till Winter is thrown and his 
straw garment stript off him. During the duel, the rest keep 
singing : 

stab aus, stab aus, 

stecht dem Winter die augen aus ! 

This is completely the f rauba birahanen, hrusti giwinnan, caesos 
spoliare armis ' of the heroic age ; the barbarous punching out of 
eyes goes back to a still remoter antiquity. 1 The wakening of 
Summer is like the wakening of Saelde. 

In some places, when the fight is over, and Winter put to flight, 
they sing : 

So treiben wir den Winter aus 

durch unsre stadt zum thor hinaus (out at the gate) ; 

here and there the whole action is compressed into the shout : 
' Sommer 'rein (come in), Winter 'naus (go out) ! ' 

As we come back through the Odenwald toward inner Fran- 
conia, the Spessart and the Klion Mts, the words begin to change, 
and run as follows : 

Stab aus, stab aus, 

stecht dem Tod (death) die augen aus ! 

1 The MHG. songs keep pace : ' der Meie hat sinen schaft uf den Winter ver- 
stochen,' dug his shaft into, MsH. 3, 195 b . 'Mai hat den W. erslagen', slain, 
Hatzl. 131, 58. ' vehten wil der W. kalt gegen dem lieben Sumer,' MsH. 3, 423\ 



Then : Wir haben den Tod hinausgetrieben (driven out), 
den lieben Sommer bringen wir wieder (again), 
den Sommer und den Meien 
mit bliimlein mancherleien (of many a sort). 

So Death has stept into Winter's place ; we might say, because 
in winter nature slumbers and seems dead; but it may also be, 
that at an early time some heathenish name for Winter had to 
give place to the christian conception of Death. 

When we get to the heart of Franconia, e.g. Niirnberg, the 
songs drop ail mention of Summer, and dwell the more em- 
phatically on the expulsion of Death. 1 There country lasses of 
seventeen or eighteen, arrayed in all their finery, parade the 
streets of the whole town and suburbs; on or under their left 
arm they carry a little open coffin, with a shroud hanging over 
the sides, and a puppet lying under that. Poor children carry 
nothing but an open box, in which lies a green bough of beech 
with a stalk sticking up, on which an apple is fixed instead of 
the head. Their monotone song begins : ' To-day is Midlent, 
we bear Death into the water, and that is well/ Amongst other 
things : 

Wir tragen den Tod in's wasser, 

tragen ihn 'nein, und wieder 'raus 2 (in, and out again), 

1 Seb. Frank's Weltbuch 51 a thus describes the Shrovetide custom in Fran- 
conia : 'Four of thern hold a sheet by his 4 corners, whereon is laid a straw 
puppet in hose, jerkin and mask, like a dead man, the which they toss up by die 
4 corners, and catch him again in the sheet. This they do the whole town through. 
At Midlent they make in some places a strait) man or imp, arrayed as a death, him 
tbe assembled youth bear into the nigh lying villages. And by some they be well 
received, eased and fed with dried pears, milk and peas ; by others, which hold it 
a presage of coming death, evil entreated and driven from their homesteads with 
foul words and oftentimes with buffets.' 

2 This seems to indicate, that the deity of Death is not to be annihilated by 
the ducking, but only made sensible of the people's dissatisfaction. Cruel Death 
has during the year snatched many a victim, and men wish, as it were, to be 
revenged on him. This is of a piece with the idea brought out on p. 20 : when 
a god has not answered your expectations, you bully him, you plunge his image 
into water. So by the Franconians, on a failure of the wine-crop, St. Urbau's 
image, who had neglected to procure them wine (Fischart's Garg. 11) was Jiang into 
the brook, or the mud (Seb. Frank 51 b ), or the water-trough, even in the mere antici- 
pation of a poor vintage (Agricola's Sprichw. 4'J8. Grater's Idunna 1812, p. 87). 
So the Bavarians, during St. Leonhard's solemn procession, would occasionally 
drop him in the river (Schm. 2, 473). We know how the Naples people to this day 
go to work with their San Gennaro, how seamen in a storm ill-use St. James's 
image, not to speak of other instances. 


tragen ilin vor des biederinanns haus (up to the goodnian's 
house) . 

Wollt ihr uns kein schmalz nicht geben (won't give us no 

lassen wir euch den Tod nicht sehen (won't let you see D.). 

Der Tod der hat ein panzer an (wears a coat of mail) . 
Similar customs and songs prevailed all over Franconia, and in 
Thuringia, Meissen, Vogtland, Lausitz and Silesia. The begin- 
ning of the song varies : 

Nun treiben wir den Tod aus 1 (drive D. out), 

den alien weibem in das haus (into the old women's house). 
Or : hinter's alte hirteuhaus 3 (behind the old shepherd's house). 
Further on : 

hcitten wir den Tod nicht ausgetrieben (not driven D. out), 

war er das jahr noch inne geblieben 3 (he'd have staid all the 

Usually a -puppet, a figure of straw or wood, was carried about, 
and thrown into water, into a hog, or else burnt ; if the figure 
was female, it was carried by a boy, if male, by a girl. They 
disputed as to where it should be made and tied together ; what- 
ever house it was brought out of, there nobody died that year. 
Those who had thrown Death away, fled in haste, lest he should 
start up and give them chase; if they met cattle on their way 
home, they beat them with staves, believing that that would 
make them fruitful. In Silesia they often dragged about a bare 
fir-tree with chains of straw, as though it were a prisoner. Here 
and there a strong man, in the midst of children, carried a may- 

1 Luther parodied this song in his Driving of the Pope out, Journ. von u. fiir 
D. 1787. 2, 192-3. 

2 ' Dern alten Juden in seinen bauch, etc.', into the old Jew's belly, on to the 
young Jew's back, the worse for him ; over hill and dale, so he may never come 
back ; over the heath, to spite the shepherds ; we went through the greenwood, 
there sang birds young and old. Finn Magnusen (Edda 2, 135) would have us take 
the old ' Juden ' for a iotunn. 

3 J. F. Herri, on certain antiquities found in the Erfurt country 1787, p. 28, 
has the line : ' wir tragen den Krodo in's wasser,' but confesses afterwards (Journ. 
v. u. f. D. 1787. 483-4) that he dragged the dubious name into the text on pure con- 
jecture. The more suspicious becomes the following strophe in Hellbach's Suppl. 
to the Archiv v. u. f. Schwarzburg, Hildburgh. 1789. p. 52 : ' wir tragen den alten 
thor (fool) hinaus, hinter's alte hirteuhaus, wir haben nun den sommer gewonnen, 
und Erodes macht ist weggekommen,' K'.s power is at an end. The expressions 
in the last line smack of recent invention. 


pole. 1 In the Altmark, the Wendish villages about Salzwedel, 
especially Seeben (where we saw Hermil still in use, p. 749), 
have preserved the following custom : at Whitsuntide men- 
servants and maids tie fir-branches, straw and hay into a large 
firjure, giving it as much as possible a human shape. Profusely 
garlanded with field-flowers, the image is fastened, sitting up- 
right, on the brindled cow (of which more hereafter), and lastly 
a pipe cut out of alder wood stuck in its mouth. So they conduct 
it into the village, where all the houses are barred and bolted, 
and every one chases the cow out of his yard, till the figure falls 
off, or goes to pieces (Ad. Kukn's Mark, sagen, p. 316-7). 

From Switzerland, Tobler 425-6 gives us a popular play in 
rhymes, which betray a Swabian origin, and contain a song of 
battle between Summer and Winter. Summer is acted by a man 
in his bare shirt, holding in one hand a tree decorated with 
ribbons and fruit, in the other a cudgel with the end much split. 
Winter is warmly clad, but has a similar cudgel ; they lay on to 
one another's shoulders with loud thwacks, each renowning him- 
self and running down his neighbour. At length Winter falls 
back, and owns himself beaten. Schm. 3, 248 tells of the like 
combat in Bavaria : Winter is wrapt in fur, Summer carries a 
green bough in his hand, and the strife ends with Summer 
thrusting Winter out of doors. I do not find the custom reported 
of Austria proper ; it seems to be known in Styria and the 
adjoining mountains of Carinthia : the young fellows divide into 
two bands, one equipt with winter clothes and snowballs, the 
other with green summer hats, forks and scythes. After fighting 
a while in front of the houses, they end with singing jointly the 
praises of victorious Summer. 2 It takes place in March or at 
St. Mary's Candlemas (see Suppl.). 

Some of the districts named have within the last hundred years 
discontinued this old festival of announcing Summer by the 
defeat of Winter, others retain it to this day. Bygone centuries 
may well have seen it in other German regions, where it has 
not left even a historical trace ; there may however bo some 

1 At Leipzig in the 17th cent, the festival had become so discredited, that they 
had the straw puppet carried about and immersed by women of ill fame. 

- Sartori's Nuueste Eeise d. Oestr., Vienna 1811. 2, 348. The Styrian battle- 
song is printed in L'usching's Wbch. nachr. 1, 22(j-ti. 


accounts that have escaped my notice. In S. Germany, Swabia, 
Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria, Styria, the ditties are longer and 
more formal, but the ceremony itself not so artless and racy. In 
Lower Hesse, Lower Saxony, Westphalia, Friesland, and the 
Netherlands, that is to say, where Easter-fires remained in vogue, 
I can hardly anywhere detect this annunciation of Summer ; 
in lieu of it we shall find in N. Germany a far more imposing 
development of May-riding and the Maigraf feast. Whether the 
announcing of Summer extended beyond the Palatinate into 
Treves, Lorraine, and so into France, I cannot say for certain. 1 
Clearly it was not Protestant or Catholic religion that deter- 
mined the longer duration or speedier extinction of the custom. 
It is rather striking that it should be rifest just in Middle 
Germany, and lean on Slav countries behind, which likewise do it 
homage ; but that is no reason for concluding that it is of Slav 
origin, or that Slavs could have imported it up to and beyond the 
Rhine. We must first consider more closely these Slav customs. 
In Bohemia, children march, with a straw man representing 
Death, to the end of the village, and there burn him while they 
sing : 

Giz nesem Smrt ze wsy, Now bear we D. from the village, 

nowe Leto do wsy ; new Summer to the village ; 

witey Leto libezne, welcome Summer sweet, 

obiljcko zelene ! little grain so green. 

1 C. H. Schmid has indeed drawn up (Journ. v. u. f. D. 1790, 314-5) a list of 
the lands and spots where Winter or Death is carried out, and it includes parts of 
L. Saxony, Mecklenburg, even Friesland. But no authorities are given ; and other 
customs, similar, but without any of the distinctive features of the subject in hand, 
are mixed up with it. Aug. Pfeiffer (b. Lauenstein 1640, d. Liibeck '98) in Evang. 
Erquickungstunden, Leipz. 1G98 mentions a ' battle of Sum. and Win.', but names 
no places, and he had lived long in Silesia and Leipzig. H. Lubbert (preacher at 
Bohlendorf by Liibeck, b. 1640, d. 1703) in his Fastnachtsteufel p. 6 describes a 
March (not May) procession, but does not sufficiently bring out the essential fea- 
tures. I extract the passage (from J. P. Schmidt's Fastelab. p. 132), because it 
illustrates the far from ineffectual zeal of the clergy against popular amusements, 
almost as strikingly as the diatribe, 560 years older, quoted on pp. 259 seq. : ' The 
last year, on Dominica Quinquag. (4 weeks bef. Laetare), I again publicly prayed 
every man to put away, once for all, these pagan doings. Alas, I was doomed to 
see tbe wicked worldlings do it worse than before. Not alone did cliildren carrying 
long sticks wrapt in green leaves go about within doors, and sing all manner of lewd 
jests, but specially the men-servants, one of them having a green ■petticoat tied about 
him, went in two parties through the village from house to house with a bag-pipe, 
siDging, swilling, rioting like madmen in the houses ; afterward they joined together, 
drank, danced, and kept such pother several nights through, that one scarce could 
sleep for it. At the said ungodly night-dances were even some lightminded maids, 
that took part in the accursed business.' 


Elsewhere : 

Smrt plyne po wode, D. floats down the water, 

nowe Leto k nam gede. 1 new Summer to us rides. 


Smrt gsme warn zanesly, D. we've from you taken, 

nowe Leto prinesly. new Summer to you brought. 

In Moravia : 

Nesem, nesem Mafenu. We bear, we bear Marena. 

Other Slavs : 

Wyneseme, wyneseme Ma- 

muriendu. Remove we Mamurienda. 


wynesli sme Murienu se wsi, we've taken Muriena out, and 

prinesli sme May nowij do wsi. 2 brought new May to the town. 

At Bielsk in Podlachia, on Dead Sunday they carry an idol of 
plaited hemp or straw through the town, then drown it in a marsh 
or pond outside, singing to a mournful strain : 

Smierc wieie sie po plotu, D. blows through the wattle, 
szukaiac klopotu. • seeking the whirlpool. 

They run home as fast as they can : if any one falls down, he dies 
within the year. 3 The Sorbs in Upper Lausitz make the figure 
of straw and rags ; she who had the last coi*pse must supply the 
shirt, and the latest bride the veil and all the rags ; 4 the scare- 
crow is stuck on a long pole, and carried away by the biggest 
strongest lass at the top of her speed, while the rest sing : 

Lecz hore, lecz hore ! Fly high, fly high, 

jatabate woko, twist thyself round, 

pan dele, pan dele ! fall down, fall down. 

1 Celakowsky's Slowanske narodni pisne, Prague 1822. p. 209. He quotes other 
rhymes as well. 

2 J. Kollar's Zpiewanky 1, 4. 400. 

3 Hanusch Slav. myth. 413. Jungmann sub v. Marana, who puts the Polish 
rhyme into Bohem. thus : Smrt wege po plotu, sukagjc klopotu. Conf. a Moray. 
song (Kulda in d'Elv 107-8-9). 

4 Indicul. superst. 27-8 : ' de simulacris de ]>fi)inis factis, quae per campos por- 
tant.' The Esthonians on New year's day make an idol of straw in the shape of a 
man, to which they concede the name of metziko and the power of protecting their 
cattle from wild beasts and defending their frontier. All the people of the village 
accompany, and set him on the nearest tree, Thorn. Hiarn, p. 40. 


They all throw sticks and stones at it : whoever hits Death will 
not die that year. So the figure is borne out of the village to a 
piece of water, and drowned in it. But they often cany Death 
to the boundary of the next village, and pitch him over it ; each 
picks for himself a green twig, and carries it homeward in high 
glee, but on arriving at his village throws it away again. Some- 
times the youth of the village within whose bounds they have 
brought Death will run after them, and throw him bach, for no 
one likes to keep him; and they easily come to words and 
blows about it. 1 At other places in Lausitz women alone take 
part in this Driving-out of Death, and suffer no men to meddle. 
They all go in black veils that day, and having tied up a puppet 
of straw, put a white shirt on it, and give it a broom in one hand, 
and a scythe in the other. This puppet they carry singing, and 
pursued by boys throwing stones, to the border of the next town, 
where they tear it up. Then they hew down a handsome tree in 
the wood, hang the shirt upon it, and carry it home with songs. 2 
This tree is undoubtedly a symbol of Summer introduced in the 
place of Death driven out. Such decorated trees are also carried 
about the village by boys collecting gifts, after they have rid 
themselves of Death. In other cases they demand the contribu- 
tions while taking the puppet round. Here and there they make 
the straw man peep into people's windows (as Berhta looks in at 
the window, p. 274) : in that case Death will carry off some one 
in the house that year, but by paying a money ransom in time, you 
can avert the omen. At Konigshain by Gorlitz the whole village, 
young and old, wended their way with torches of straw to a 
neighbouring height called the Todtenstein, where formerly a 
god's image is said to have stood; they lit their torches on the 
top, and turned home singing, with constant repetition of the 
words : ' we have driven out Death, we bring back Summer.' 3 

So it is not everywhere that the banished idol represented 
Winter or Death in the abstract ; in some cases it is still the 
heathen divinity giving way to Christianity, whom the people 
thrust out half in sorrow, and uttering songs of sadness. 

1 Lausitz. Mag. for 1770, p. 84-5, from a MS. of Abraham Frencel. 

2 Chr. Arnold's Append, to Alex. Rossen's Unterschiedn. gottesdienst, Heidelb. 

1674. p. 135. 

3 Anton's first Versuch fiber die alten Slaven, p. 73-4. 


Dlugosz, 1 and others after him, report that by order of king 
Miecislaus all the idols in the land were broken up and burnt ; 
in remembrance of which the people in some parts of Poland, once 
a year, singing mournful songs, conduct in solemn procession 
images of Marzana and Zieivonia, fixed on poles or drawn on 
drags, to a marsh or river, and there drown them; 2 paying 
them so to speak, their last homage. Dlugosz's explanation of 
Marzana as ' harvest-goddess ' seems erroneous; FrencePs and 
Schaffarik's ' death-goddess ; is more acceptable : I derive the 
name from the Pol. marznac, Boh. mrznauti, Russ. merznut', to 
freeze, and in opposition to her as winter-goddess I set the sum- 
mer-goddess Wiosna, Boh. Wesna. The Konigenhof MS. p. 72 
has a remarkable declaration : ' i iedinu druzu nam iniieV po puti 
z Wesny po Moranu/ one wife (only) may we have on our way 
from Wesna to Morana, from spring to winter, i.e. ever. Yet 
the throwing or dipping of the divine image in a stream need not 
have been done by the Christians in mere contempt, it may have 
formed a part of the pagan rite itself; for an antithesis between 
summer and winter, and an exalting of the former, necessarily 
implied a lowering of the latter. 3 

The day for carrying Death out was the quarta dominica quad- 
ragesimae, i.e. Laetare Sunday or Midlent, on which very day 
it also falls in Poland (w nieziele srodopostna), Bohemia, Silesia 
and Lausitz. The Bohemians call it smrtedlna, samrtna nedele, 
the Sorbs smerdnitsa, death Sunday ; coming three weeks before 
Easter, it will almost always occur in March. Some have it a 
week earlier, on Oculi Sunday, others (espec. in Bohemia) a 
week later, on Judica Sunday ; one Boh. song even brings in 
' Mag nowy/ new May. But in the Rhine and Main country, -as 

1 Hist. Polon. lib. 2, ad a. 965. Matth. de Mechovia cbron. Polon. ii. 1, 22. 
Mart. Cromer lib. 3, ad a. 965. Mart. Hanke de Silesior. nominibus, p. 122-3. 

2 So the Russian Vladimir, after his conversion, orders the image of Perun to 
be tied to a horse's tail, beaten, and thrown into the Dnieper. Afterwards, when 
the Novgorod Perun was in like manner thrown into the Volkhov, he set up, while 
in the river, a loud lament over the people's ingratitude. 

3 The Indian Kali, on the 7th day after the March new-moon, was solemnly 
carried about, and then thrown into the Ganges ; on May 13 the Roman vestals 
hore puppets plaited of rushes to the Pons Sublicius, and dropt them in the Tiber, 
Ov. Fast. 5, 620 : 

Turn quoque priscorum virgo simulacra virorum 
mittere roboreo scirpea ponte solet. 


in most places, Laetare is the festive day, and is there called 
Summer day. 

There is no getting over this unanimity as to the time of the 
festival. To the ancient Slavs, whose new year began in March, 
it marked the commencement of the year, and likewise of the 
summer half-year, i.e. of their leto ; to Germans the arrival of 
summer or spring, for in March their stork and swallow come 
home, and the first violet blows. But then the impersonal ' leto ' 
of the Slavs fights no battle with their Smrt : this departing 
driven-out god has the play nearly all to himself. To our an- 
cestors the contest between the two giants was the essential 
thino- in the festival ; vanquished Winter has indeed his parallel 
in Smrt, but with victorious Summer there is no living personality 
to compare. And, beside this considerable difference between 
the Slav ceremony and our own, as performed on the Rhine or 
Neckar, it is also difficult to conceive how a native Slav custom 
should have pushed itself all the way to the Odenwald and the 
Palatinate beyond Rhine, accountable as it might be on the upper 
Main, in the Fulda country, Meissen or Thuringia. What is still 
more decisive, we observe that the custom is known, not to all 
the Slavs, but just to those in Silesia, Lausitz, Bohemia and, 
with a marked difference, in Poland ; not to the South Slavs at 
all, nor apparently to those settled in Pomerania, Mecklenburg 
and Liineburg. Like our Bavarians and Tyrolese, the Carniolans, 
Styrians and Slovaks have it not ; neither have the Pomeranians 
and Low Saxons. 1 Only a central belt of territory has preserved 
it, alike among Slavs and Germans, and doubtless from a like 
cause. I do not deny that in very early times it may have been 
common to all Slav and all Teutonic races, indeed for Germany 
I consider it scarcely doubtful, because for one thing the old 
songs of Nithart and others are sufficient proof for Austria, and 
secondly because in Scandinavia, England, and here and there 
in N. Germany, appears the custom of May-riding, which is quite 
the same thing as the Rhenish « summer-day ' in March. 

Olaus Magnus 15, 4 says: 'The Swedes and Goths have a 
custom, that on the first day of May the magistrates in every 

1 The Holstein custom of going round (omgaan) with the fox, p. 764, took 
place in summer (says Schiitze 3, 165), therefore not on Laetare ; and the words 
they sing have no explicit reference to summer and winter. 


city make two troops of horse, of tall youths and men, to as- 
semble, as tho' they would go forth to a mighty battle. One 
troop hath a captain, that under the name of Winter is arrayed 
in much fur and wadded garments, and is armed with a winter- 
spear : he rideth arrogantly to and fro, showering snowballs and 
iceflakes, as he would fain prolong the cold, and much he vaunteth 
him in speech. The other troop hath contrariwise a captain, that 
is named the Blumengrave, he is clad in green boughs, leaves and 
flowers, and other summer raiment, and not right fencible ; he 
rides into town the same time with the winter-captain, yet each 
in his several place and order, then hold a public tilting and 
tourney, wherein Summer hath the mastery, bearing Winter to 
the ground. Winter and his company scatter ashes and sparks 
about them, the other fend them with birchen boughs and young 
lime-twigs ; finally, by the multitude around, the victory is 
awarded to Summer.'' 

Here Death is not once alluded to ; in true Teutonic fashion, 
the whole business is made to lie between Summer and Winter ; 
only, the simple procession of our peasant-folk has turned more 
into a chivalry pageant of opulent town-life. At the same time 
this induction of May into the city (' hisset kommer Sivard 
Snarensvend [p. 3 72n.], han forer os sommer,' or f och bar oss 
sommer i by,' DV. 1, 14. Sv. forns. ], 44. ' bdra ma] i by,' 
Dybeck runa 2, 67; in Schonen ' fore somma i by ') cuts a neater 
statelier figure than the miserable array of mendicant children, 
and is in truth a highly poetic and impressive spectacle. These 
Mayday sports are mentioned more than once in old Swedish 
and Danish chronicles, town regulations and records. Lords 
and kings not seldom took a part in them, they were a great 
and general national entertainment. Crowned with flowers, the 
majgrefve fared with a powerful escort over highway and thorp ; 
banquet and round-dance followed. In Denmark the jaunting 
began on Walburgis day (May 1), and was called 'at ride Som- 
mer i bye,' riding S. into the land : the young men ride in front, 
then the May -grave (floriger) with two garlands, one on each 
shoulder, the rest with only one ; songs are sung in the town, 
all the maidens make a ring round the may-grave, who picks out 
one of them to be his majinde, by dropping a wreath on her 
head. Winter and his conflict with May are no longer mentioned 

VOL. II. z 


in the Schonish and Danish festival. Many towns had regularly 
organized majgreve glide. 1 But as the May-fire in Denmark 
was called ' gadeild/ gate (street) fire, so was the leader of the 
May-feast a gadebasse (gate bear), and his maiden partner 
gadelam (gate lamb) or gadinde; gadebasse and gadinde there- 
fore mean the same as maigreve and maigrevinde. 2 There is a 
remarkable description in Mundelstrup's Spec, gentilismi etiam- 
num superstitis, Hafn. 1684 : ' Qui ex junioribus rusticis contum 
stipulis accensis flammatum efficacius versus sidera tollere 
potuerit, praeses (gadebasse) incondito omnium clamore de- 
clarator, nee non eodem tempore sua cuique ex rusticis puellis, 
quae tunc temporis vernacula appellantur gadelam, distribuitur, 
et quae praesidi adjicitur titulum hunc gadinde merebitur. 3 
Hinc excipiunt convivia per universum illud temporis, quod inter 
arationem et foenisecium intercedit, quavis die dominica celebrari 
sueta, gadelams-gilder dicta, in quibus proceriorem circum ar- 
borem in antecessum hurno immissam variisque corollis ac signis 
ornatam, corybantum more ad tympanorum stridentes sonitus 
bene poti saliunt.' 

Now this May-riding, these May-graves, were an old tradition 
of Lower Germany also ; and that apparently is the very reason 
why the Mid-German custom of welcoming summer at Laetare 
was not in vogue there. How could spring, which does not 
reappear in the North till the beginning of May, have been 
celebrated there in March ? Besides, this May-festival may in 
early times have been more general in Germany ; or does the 
distinction reach back to the rivalry between March and May as 
the month of the folkmote ? 4 The maigreve at Greifswald, May 
1, 1528, is incidentally mentioned by Sastrow in his Lebensbeschr. 
1, 65-6; a license to the scholars at Pasewalk to hold a maigraf 

1 Ihre sub v. rnajgrefve. Skraordning for Knutsgillet i Lund an. 1586, § 123-7 
in Bring's Monum. sc&nensia, p. 207-10 ; the same for Malrno, p. 211. Er. Tegel's 
Hist. Gustavi i. 1, 119. Nyerup's Danske digtek. 1, 246. 2, 136. 143. Thiele 1, 
145-58 ; conf. 200. For the Zealand custom see Molbech's Hist, tidskrift 1840. 
1, 203. The maigreves in Ribe are mentioned by Terpager in Ripae cimbricae, 
p. 723 ; the Aalburg maigreve in Wilda's Gildewesen p. 285, from a statute of 
the 15th century ; conf. Molb. dial. lex. p. 533. 

2 Molb. dial. lex. pp. 150-1-2, where doubt is thrown on the derivation ol 
gade from ON. gata (gate, road). He has also a midsommers-lam, p. 359. 

3 The italics here are mine. Each man has a gadelam, but only the leader 
a gadinde. — Teans. 

4 Conf. RA. 821-6 on the time of assizes. 

MAY-HIDING. i i i 

jaunt, in a Church- visitation ordinance of 1503 (Baltische studien 
0, 137) ; and more precise information has lately been collected 
on the survival of May-riding at Hildesheiin, where the beautiful 
custom only died out in the 18th century. 1 Towards Whitsun- 
tide the maio - reve was elected, and the forest commoners in the 
Use had to hew timber from seven villages to build the May- 
waggon; all loppiugs must be loaded thereon, and only four 
horses allowed to draw it in the forest. A grand expedition from 
the town fetches away the waggon, the burgomaster and council 
receive a May-wreath from the commoners, and hand it over 
to the maigreve. The waggon holds 60 or 70 bundles of may 
(birch), which are delivered to the maigreve to be further dis- 
tributed. Monasteries and churches get large bundles, every 
steeple is adorned with it, and the floor of the church strown 
with clippings of boxwood and field-flowers. The maigreve 
entertains the commoners, and is strictly bound to serve up a 
dish of crabs. But in all this we have only a fetching-in of 
the May-waggon from the wood under formal escort of the May- 
grave ; not a word now about the battle he had to fight with 
winter. Is it conceivable that earlier ages should have done 
without this battle ? Assuredly they had it, and it was only by 
degrees that custom left it out. By and by it became content with 
even less. In some parishes of Holstein they keep the commence- 
ment of May by crowning a young fellow and a girl with leaves 
and flowers, conducting them with music to a tavern, and there 
drinking and dancing ; the pair are called matgrev and maigron, i.e. 
maigrafin (Schiitze 3, 72). The Schles wig may grave-feast (festum 
frondicomans) is described in Ulr. Petersen's treatise already 
quoted (p. 694 n.). 2 In Swabia the children at sunrise go into the 
wood, the boys carrying silk handkerchiefs on staves, the girls 
ribbons on boughs ; their leader, the May-king, has a right to 
choose his queen. In Gelders they used on Mayday-eve to set up 
trees decorated and hung with tapers like a Christmas-tree ; then 
came a song and ring-dance. 3 All over Germany, to this day, 

1 Koken and Liintzel's Mittheilungen 2, 45-61. 

2 He says : ' the memory of this ancient but useless May-feast finally passed 
by inheritance to the town-cattle, which, even since 1670, had every Mayday a gar- 
land of beech-leaves thrown about the neck, and so bedizened were driven home ; 
for which service the cowherd could count upon his fee.' 

3 Geldersche Volksalmanak voor 1835, pp. 10-28. The song is given in Hoffm. 


we have may -bushes brought into our houses at Whitsuntide : we 
do not fetch them in ourselves, nor go out to meet them. 1 

England too had May -games or Mayings down to the 16-1 7th 
century. On Mayday morning the lads and lasses set out soon 
after miduight, with horns and other music, to a neighbouring 
wood, broke boughs off the trees, and decked them out with 
wreaths and posies ; then turned homeward, and at sunrise set 
these May-bushes in the doors and windows of their houses. 
Above all, they brought with them a tall birch tree which had 
been cut down; it was named maiepole, maipoll, and was drawn 
by 20 to 40 yoke of oxen, each with a nosegay betwixt his horns; 
this tree was set up in the village, and the people danced round 
it. The whole festival was presided over by a lord of the May 
elected for the purpose, and with him was associated a lady of 
the May." In England also a fight between Summer and Winter 
was exhibited (Hone's Daybook 1, 359) ; the Maypole exactby 
answers to the May-waggon of L. Saxony, and the lord of the 
May to the May-grave. 3 And here and there a district in France 
too has undoubtedly similar May-sports. Champollion (Rech. 
sur les patois, p. 183) reports of the Isere Dept. : ' male, fete que 
les enfans celebrent aux premiers jours du mois de mai, en 
parant un d'entre eux et lui donnant le titre de roi.' A lawsuit 
on the ( jus eundi prima die mensis maji ad majum colligendum in 
nernora' is preserved in a record of 1262, Guerard cart, de N.D. 
2, 117 (see Suppl.). In narrative poems of the Mid. Ages, both 
French and German, the grand occasions on which kings hold 
their court are Whitsuntide and the blooming Maytime, Rein. 41 
seq. Iw. 33 seq., and Wolfram calls King Arthur f der meienbrnre 
man/ Parz. 281, 16; conf. ' pfmgestlicher (pentecostal) kiiniges 
name/ MS. 2, 128 a . 

On the whole then, there are four different ways of welcoming 

Horae belg. 2, 178-180. Conf. ' ic wil den mei gaen houwen voor mijns liefs vein- 
sterkyn,' go hew before my love's window, Uhland's Volksl. 178. 

1 Has the May-drink still made in the Lower Rhine and Westphalia, of wine 
and certain (sacred?) herbs, any connexion with an old sacrificial rite? On no 
account must woodroof (asperula) be omitted in preparing it. 

2 Fuller descript. in J. Strutt, ed. Lond. 1830, p. 351-6. Haupt's Zeitschr. 5, 

3 The AS. poems have no passage turning on the battle of S. and W. In Beow. 
22CG ' H wass winter scacen ' only means winter was past, ' el ibierno es esido,' Cid 


Summer, that we have learnt to know. In Sweden and Gothland 
a battle of Winter and Summer, a triumphal entry of the latter. 
In Schonen, Denmark, L. Saxony and England simply May- 
liding, or fetching of the May- waggon. On the Rhine merely a 
battle of Winter and Summer, without immersion, 1 without the 
pomp of an entry. In Frauconia, Thuringia, Meissen, Silesia and 
Bohemia only the carrying-out of wintry Death ; no battle, no 
formal introduction of Summer. 3 Of these festivals the first and 
second fall in May, the third and fourth in March. In the first 
two, the whole population takes part with unabated enthusiasm; 
in the last two, only the lower poorer class. It is however 
the first and third modes that have retained the full idea of the 
performance, the struggle between the two powers of the year, 
whilst in the second and fourth the antithesis is wanting. The 
May- riding has no Winter in it, the farewell to Death no Sum- 
mer; one is all joy, the other all sadness. But in all the first 
three modes, the higher being to whom honour is done is repre- 
sented by living persons, in the fourth by a puppet, yet both the 
one and the other are fantastically dressed up. 

Now we can take a look in one or two other directions. 

On the battle between Vetr and Sumar ON. tradition is silent, 3 
as on much else, that nevertheless lived on among the people. 
The oldest vestige known to me of a duel between the seasons 
amongst us is that ' Conflictus hiemis et veris' over the cuckoo 
(p. G75-G). The idea of a Summer-god marching in, bringing 
blessings, putting new life into everything, is quite in the spirit 
of our earliest ages : it is just how Nerthus comes into the land 
(p. 251) ; also Freyr (p. 213), Isis (p. 258), Hulda (p. 2G8),Berhta 

1 It was a different thing therefore when in olden times the Frankfort boys and 
Kivls, every year at Candlemas (Febr. 2), threw a stuffed garment into the Main, and 
sang : ' Reuker Uder schlug sein mntter, schlug ihr arm and bein entzwei, dass sie 
mordio schrei,' Lersner's Chron. p. 492. I leave the song unexplained. 

2 Yet Summer as a contrast does occasionally come out plainly in songs or 
customs of Bohemia and Lausitz. 

3 Finn Magnusen, always prone to see some natural phenomenon underlying a 
myth, finds the contrast of summer and winter lurking in more than one place in the 
Kdda: in Fif>llsvinnsm:'i] and llarbardsliod (th. 2, L55. ;S, 11 of his Edda), in Saxo's 
Oiler and Othin saga (th. 1, 196. Lex. 765), in that of Thiassi (Lex. 887), because 
Oo'hm srts the eye of the slain giant in the sky (p. ), aud Winter is also to 
have his eyes puuehed out (p. 765) ; to mo Uhland (Ueber Trior p. 117. 120) seems 
more profound, in regarding Thiassi as the storm-eagle, and kidnapped ISunn as 
thegre n of summer (ingrun, so to speak) ; but the nature of this goddess remains a 
secret t"> us. 


(p. 273), Fricg (p. 304), and other deities besides, whose car" or 
ship an exulting people goes forth to meet, as they do the waggon 
of May, who, over and above mere personification, has from of old 
his ere and strdze (p. 670 n.) : in heathen times he must have had 
an actual worship of his own. All these gods and goddesses 
appeared at their appointed times in the year, bestowing their 
several boons ; deified Summer or May can fairly claim identity 
with one of the highest divinities to whom the gift of fertility 
belonged, with Fro, Wuotom, Nerthus. But if we admit goddesses, 
then, in addition to Nerthus, Ostcvra has the strongest claim to 
consideration. To what was said on p. 290 I can add some signi- 
ficant facts. The heathen Easter had much in common with the 
May-feast and the reception of spring, particularly in the matter 
of bonfires. Then, through long ages there seem to have lingered 
among the people Easter-games so-called, which the church itself 
had to tolerate : I allude especially to the custom of Easter eggs, 
and to the Easter tale which preachers told from the pulpit for 
the people's amusement, connecting it with Christian reminis- 
cences. In the MHG. poets, ' mines herzen osterspil, ostertac,' 
my heart's Easter play or day, is a complimentary phrase for lady 
love, expressing the height of bliss (MS. 2, 52 b . 37". Iw. 8120. 
Frib. Trist. 804) ; Conr. Troj. 19802 makes the ' osterlichen tac 
mit lebender wunne spiln ' out of the fair one's eye. Later still, 
there were dramatic shows named osterspile, Wackern. lb. 1014, 
30. One of the strongest proofs is the summer and dance song 
of lord Goeli, MS. 2, 57 a (Haupt's Neidh. xxv) : at the season, 
when ea and eyot are grown green, Fridebolt and his companions 
enter with long swords, and offer to play the osterspil, which 
seems to have been a sword-dance for twelve performers, one 
of whom apparently was leader, and represented Summer beating 
Winter out of the land : 

Fridebolt setze uf den huot F., put on thy hat, 

wolgefriunt, und gang ez vor, well backed, and go before, 

bint daz ostersalis zer linken siten bind o. to thy left side, 

bis dur Kiinzen hochgemuot, be for K.'s sake merry, 

leite uns viir daz Tinkuftor, lead us outside the T. gate, 

la den tanz al uf den wasen riten ! let dance on turf be rid. 

This binding on of the ' Easter seax/ or sword-knife, leads us to 


infer that a sword of peculiar antique shape was retained; as 
the Easter scones, osterstuopha (RA. 298) and moonshaped oster- 
mdne (Brem. wtb.) indicate pastry of heathenish form. The 
sword may have been brandished in honour of Ostara, as it was 
for Fricka (p. 304). Or is Ostersahs to be understood like 
Beiersahs (Haupt's Neidh. xxv. 17, note) ? 

May we then identify Ostara with the Slav goddess of spring 
Vesna, the Lith. vasara (aestas), Lett, vassara, and with ver and 
eap iu the forms ascribed to them on p. 754 ? True, there is no 
counterpart, no goddess answering to Marzana; but with our 
ancestors the notion of a conflict between two male antagonists, 
the giants Summer and Winter, must have carried the day at a 
very early time [to the exclusion of the goddesses] . 

The subject was no stranger to the Greeks and Romans : in 
one of Aesop's fables (Cor. 422. Fur. 380) %«puv and eap have 
a quarrel. 1 The Roman ver began on Feb. 7, the first swallow 
came in about Feb. 26, though she does not reach us till near 
the end of March, nor Sweden till the beginning of May (Tiede- 
mann's Zool. 3, 624). The Florealia were kept from Apr. 28 till 
May 1 : there were songs, dances and games, they wore flowers 
and garlands on their heads, but the contrast, Winter, seems not 
to have been represented. I am not informed what spring 
customs have lasted to this day in Italy. Polydore Vergil, of 
Urbino in Umbria, tells us (de invent, rer. 5, 2) : ( Est consuetu- 
dinis, ut juventus promiscui sexus laetabunda Cal. Maji exeat in 
agros, et cantitans inde virides reportet arborum ramos, eosque 
ante domorum fores ponat, et denique unusquisque eo die aliquid 
viridis ramusculi vel herbae ferat ; quod non fecisse poena est, 
praesertim apud Italos, ut madefiat/ Here then is a ducking 
too ; this May-feast cannot have meant there a fetching-in of 
spring, for that comes earlier, in March (see Suppl.). 

Much more remarkable is the Italian and Spanish custom of 
tying together at Mid Lent, on that very Dominica Lastare, a 
puppet to represent the oldest woman in the village, which is 
carried out by the people, especially children, and sawn through 
the middle. This is called segare la vecchia. At Barcelona the 
boys on that day, in thirties and forties, run through all the 

1 Creuzer's Synib. 2, 429. 491, following Hermann's interpret, of names, makes 
of the giant Briareus a fighting u-intcr-demon. 


streets, some with saws, some with billets of wood, and some 
with napkins in which people deposit their gifts. They declare 
in a song, that they are looking for the very oldest woman in the 
town, to saiv her through the body ; at last they pretend they 
have found her, and begin sawing something, and afterwards 
burn it. 1 But the same custom is also found amoug the South 
Slavs. In Lent time the Croats tell their children, that at the 
hour of noon an old woman is sawn in pieces outside the gates ; 
in Carniola it is at Mid Lent again that the old wife is led out of 
the village and sawn through the middle. 3 The North Slavs call 
it bdbu re'zati, sawing old granny, i.e. keeping Mid Lent (Jungm. 
1, 56). Now this sawing up and burning of the old wife (as of 
the devil, p. 606) seems identical with the carrying out and 
drowning of Death, and if this represented Winter, a giant, may 
not the Romance and South Slav nations have pictured their 
hiems, their zima, as a goddess or old woman (SI. baba) ? * Add 
to this, that in villages even of Meissen and Silesia the straw 
figure that is borne out is sometimes in the shape of an old woman 
(p. 768), which may perhaps have meant Marzana (p. 773) ? I 
should not be surprised if some districts of Bavaria, Tyrol and 
Switzerland were yet to reveal a similar sawing of the old wife. 3 
The Scotch Highlanders throw the auld wife into the fire at 
Christmas (Stewart's Pop. superst. p. 236 seq.). 

But Lower Germany itself presents an approximation no less 
worthy of attention. On p. 190 we mentioned that it was the 
custom at Hildesheim, on the Saturday after Laetare, to set forth 
the triumph of Christianity over the heathen gods by knocking 
down logs of wood. The agreement in point of time would of 
itself invite a comparison of this solemnity with that Old-Polish 
one, and further with the carrying-out of Death; one need not 
even connect the expulsion of the old gods with the banishment 

1 Alex. Laborde's Itineraire de l'Espagne 1, 57-8; conf. Doblados briep. 
Hone's Dayb. 1, 369. 

- Anton's Versuch fiber die Slaven 2, 66. 

3 Linhart's Gesebicbte von Krain 2, 274. 

4 The Ital. inverno, Span, invierno, is however masc. 

5 In Swabia and Switz., fronfasten (Lord's fast = Ember days, Scheffer's 
Haltaus p. 53) has been corrupted into a frau Faste, as if it were the fast-time 
personified (Staid. 1, 394. Hebel sub v.). Can cutting Mid Lent in two have sig- 
nified a break in the fast ? I think not. "What means the phrase and the act of 
' breaking the neck of the fast,' in an essay on Cath. superst. in the 16th cent. ? see 
Forstemann's Records of Augsburg Diet, Halle 1833, d. 101 (see Suppl.). 



of Winter at all. In Geo. Torquatus's (unpublished) Annul. 
Magdeb. et Halberst. part 3 lib. 1 cap. 9 we are told that at 
Halberstadt (as at Hildesheim above) they used once a year to 
set up a log in the marketplace, and throw at it till its head came 
off. The log has not a name of its own, like Jupiter at Hildes- 
heim ; it is not unlikely that the same practice prevailed at other 
places in the direction of these two cities. At Halberstadt it 
lasted till markgraf Johan Albrecht's time ; the oldest account 
of it is by the so-called 'monk of Pirna,' Joh. Lindner (Tilianus, 
d. ab. 1530) in his Onomasticon : ' In the stead of the idol's 
temple pulled in pieces at Halberstadt, there was a dome-church 
(cathedral) edified in honour of God and St. Stephen ; in memory 
thereof the dome-lords (dean and chapter) young and old shall 
on Letare Monday every year set up a wooden skittle in the idol's 
stead, and throw thereat, every one ; moreover the dome-provost 
shall in public procession and lordly state let lead a bear (barz, 1. 
baren) beside him, else shall his [customary dues be denied him; 
likewise a boy beareth after him a sheathed sword under his arm.' 
Leading a bear about and delivering a bear's loaf was a custom 
prevalent in the Mid. Ages, e.g. at Mainz (Weisth. 1, 533) and 
Strassburg (Schilter's Gloss. 102). 

This Low Saxon rejection, and that Polish dismissal, of the 
ancient gods has therefore no necessary connexion with a bring- 
ing in of summer, however apt the comparison of the new religion 
to summer's genial warmth. In the Polish custom at all events 
I find no such connexion hinted at. At the same time, the 
notion of bringing summer in was not unknown to the Poles. 
A Cracow legend speaks of Lei and Po-lel (after-lel), two divine 
beings of heathen times, chasing each other round the field, and 
bringing Summer ; they are the cause of ' flying summer, i.e. 
gossamer. l Until we know the whole tradition more exactly, 
we cannot assign it its right place. Lei and Polel are usually 
likened to Castor and Pollux (Linde i. 2, 1250 b ), to whom they 
bear at least this resemblance, that their names, even in old folk- 
songs, make a simple interjection, ~ as the llomans used the twin 

1 Hall. allg. lz. 1807. no. 256, p. 807. 

2 Pol. lelum, polelum ; Serv. lele, leljo,lelja (Vuksub v.) ; Walacb. leruni (couf. 
liruuilnrum, verba elTutitia). It seems to me hazardous to suppose them sous of 
Lada as C. and P. were of Leda. Couf. supra p. 3U6. „ 


demigods to swear by. Fliegender sommer, flugsommer, sommer- 
flug, graswebe, are our names for the white threads that cover the 
fields at the beginning of spring, and still more of autumn ; the 
spring tissue is also called maidensummer , Mary's yarn, Mary's 
thread (p. 471), that of autumn aftersummer, autumn yarn, old- 
wives' summer ; but generally both kinds are covered by the one 
name or the other. Nethl. slammetje (draggletail ? Brem. wtb. 4, 
799) ; Engl, gossamer (God's train, trailing garment), also samar, 
slmar (train) ; Swed. dvdrgsndt (dwarf's net), p. 471. Boh. wlacka 
(harrow, because the threads rake the ground ?) ; Pol. lato swieto 
marcinsTcie, Mary's holy summer. Here again the Virgin's name 
seems to have been chosen as a substitute or antidote for heathen 
notions : the ancient Slavs might easily believe the gauzy web 
to have been spread over the earth by one of their gods. Bat 
the autumn gossamer has another Slavic name : Pol. babie lato, 
old wives' summer, Boh. babshe Veto, or simply babj, which puts 
us in mind once more of that antithesis between summer and 
the old wife (p. 782) . She rules in winter, and the god in sum- 
mer (see Suppl.). Can the words of the Wendish ditty, quoted 
p. 771, be possibly interpi*eted of the film as it floats in the air ? 

I hope I have proved the antiquity and significance of the 
conceptions of Summer and Winter ; but there is one point I 
wish to dwell upon more minutely. The dressing-up of the two 
champions in foliage and flowers, in straw and moss, the dialogue 
that probably passed between them, the accompanying chorus 
of spectators, all exhibit the first rude shifts of dramatic art, 
and a history of the German stage ought to begin with such 
performances. The wrappage of leaves l'epresents the stage-dress 
and masks of a later time. Once before (p. 594), in the solemn 
procession for rain, we saw such leafy garb. Popular custom 
exhibits a number of valuations, having preserved one fragment 
here, and another there, of the original whole. Near Willings- 
hausen, county Ziegenhain, Lower Hesse, a boy is covered over 
and over with leaves, green branches are fastened to his body : 
other boys lead him by a rope, and make him dance as a bear, 
for doing which a present is bestowed ; the girls carry a hoop 
decked out with flowers and ribbons. Take note, that at the 
knocking dqwn of logs at Halberstadt (p. 783), there was also 


a bear and a boy with a sword (conf. supra p. 304 n.) in the pro- 
cession ; that Vildifer, a hero disguised in a bearskin, is led about 
by a musician, and dances to the harp. l Doubtless a dramatic 
performance of ancient date, which we could have judged better, 
had the M. Nethl. poem of here Wislau 3 been preserved ; but 
the name Vildifer seems to be founded on an OS. Wild-efor, 
which originated in a misapprehension of the OHG. Wildpero 
('pero' ursus being confounded with 'per 5 aper), as only a 
dancing bear can be meant here, not a boar. Now this bear 
fits well with the gaclebasse of the Danish May feast (p. 776). 
Schmid's Schwab, wtb. 51 8 b mentions the Augsburg waterbird : 
at Whitsuntide a lad wrapt from head to foot in reeds is led 
through the town by two others holding birch-boughs in their 
hands : once more a festival in May, not March. The name of 
this ' waterfowl ' shews he is meant to be ducked in the brook or 
river ; but whether Summer here is a mistake for Winter, whether 
the boy in reeds represents Winter, while perhaps another boy 
in leaves played Summer, or the mummery was a device to bring 
on rain, I leave undetermined. Thuringian customs also point 
to Whitsuntide : the villagers there on Whit-Tuesday choose their 
green man or lettuce-Icing ; a young peasant is escorted into the 
woods, is there enveloped in green bushes and boughs, set on 
a horse, and conducted home in triumph. In the village the 
community stands assembled : the bailiff is allowed three guesses 
to find who is hidden in the green disguise ; if he fails, he must 
pay ransom in beer. 3 In other places it is on Whit-Sunday 
itself that the man who was the last to drive his cattle to pasture, 
is wrapt in fir and birch boughs, and whipt through the village 
amidst loud cries of ' Whitsun-sleeper ! * At night comes beer- 
drinking and dancing. In the Erzgebirge the shepherd who 
drives out earliest on Whit-Sunday may crack his whip, the last 
comer is laughed at and saluted Whitsun-loobij ; so with the 
latest riser in every house. The sleeping away of sacred festive 

1 Vilk. saga, cap. 120-1 ; mark, that the minstrel gives him the name of Vitrleo 
(wise liou), which should of course have heen Vitrbiom ; for a bear lias the sensed 
L2 men (Reinh. p. 445). The people's ' king of beasts' has been confounded with 
that of scholars. 

2 Horae belg. 1, 51. Monc's Niederl. volkslit. p. 35-6. Conf. Wenezlan, Altd 
bl. 1, 333. Wislau is the Slav. Weslav, Waslav (Weoceslaus). 

3 Reichsanz. 1796. no. 90, p. 947. The herdsman that drives earliest to the 
Ipine pastures on May 1, earns a privilege for the whole year. 


hours (conf. p. 590 n.), and the penalty attached to it, of acting 
the butze and being ducked, I look upon as mere accessories, 
kept alive long after the substance of the festival had perished 
(see Suppl.). 

Kuhn (pp. 314-29) has lately furnished us with accui'ate ac- 
counts of Whitsun customs in the Marks. In the Mittelmark 
the houses are decollated with ' mai/ in the Altmark the farm- 
servants, horse-keepers and ox-boys go round the farms, and 
carry May-crowns made of flowers and birch twigs to the farmers, 
who used to hang them up on their houses, and leave them hang- 
ing till the next year. On Whitsun morning the cows and horses 
are driven for the first time to the fallow pasture, and it is a great 
thing to be the first there. The animal that arrives first has a 
bunch of ' mai ' tied to its tail, which bunch is called dau-slevpe 
(dew-sweep), 1 while the last comer is dressed up in fir-twigs, 
all sorts of green stuff and field flowers, and called the motley 
cow or motley horse, and the boy belonging to it the pingst-Tcddm 
or jaingst-lcaar el. At Havelberg the cow that came home first 
at night used to be adorned with the crown of flowei*s, and the 
last got the thau-schleife ; now this latter practice is alone kept 
up. 3 In some of the Altmark villages, the lad whose horse gets 
to the pasture first is named thau-schlepper, and he who drives 
the hindmost is made motley boy, viz. they clothe him from head 
to foot in wild flowers, and at noon lead him from farm to farm, 
the dew-sweeper pronouncing the rhymes. In other places a pole 
decked with flowers and ribbons is carried round, and called the 
bammel (dangle) or jpings-kaam, though, as a rule, this last name 
is reserved for the boy shrouded in leaves and flowers, who 
accompanies. He is sometimes led by two others called hunde- 
brbsel. In some parts of the Mittelmark the muffled boy is called 
the kaudernest. On the Dromling the boys go round with the 
pingst-kiidm, and the girls with the may-bride, collecting gifts. 
Some villages south of the Dromling have a more elaborate 

1 So named, because it has to touch the dewy grass: which confirms my 
interpretation of the Alamannic tau-dragil (R.A. 94, 630), supra p. 387 note. 

a In some places a winning horse has a stick cleft in three fixed on his head 
and richly encircled with the finest flowers ; the boy who rides him, beside many 
garlands, receives a cap woven of rushes, and must preserve a serious countenance 
while the procession slowly advances: if he can be provoked to laughter, he loses, 
Kuhn, p. 32y. 


ceremonial. On ' White Sunday/ a fortnight before Easter, the 
herdboys march to the pasture with white slicks (supra p. 7G6), 
and with these they mark off a spot, to which no one may drive 
his cattle till Whitsuntide. 1 This being done, the smaller boys 
name their brides* to the bigger ones, and no one must reveal 
the name till Whitsuuday, when the railed-off pasture is thrown 
open, and any one may tell the brides' names. On Whitmonday 
one of the boys is disguised by having two petticoats put on him, 
and one of them pulled over his head and tied up ; then they 
swathe him in may, hang flower-wreaths about his neck, and 
set a flower-crown on his head. They call him the fitstge mai 
(well-appointed, armed), and lead him round to all the houses; 
at the same time the girls go round with their may-bride, who is 
completely covered with ribbons, her bridal band hanging to the 
ground behind ; she wears a large nosegay on her head, and keeps 
on singing her ditties till some gift is handed to her. 

Other villages have horse-races on Whitmonday for a wreath 
which is hung out. Whoever snatches it down both times is 
crowned, and led in triumph to the village as May-hing. 

A work composed in the 13th ceut. by Aegidius aureae vallis 
religiosus reports the Netherland custom of electing a Whitsun 
queen in the time of bp. Albero of Liittich (d. 1155) : ' Sacer- 
dotes ceteraeque ecclesiasticae personae cum universo populo, in 
solemnitatibus paschae et pentecostes, aliquam ex sacerdotum 
concubinis, purpuratam ac diademate renitentem in eminentiori 
solio constitutam et cortinis velatam, reginam creabant, et coram 
ea assistentes in choreis tympanis et aliis musicalibus instrumentis 
tota die psallebant, et quasi idolatrae effecti ipsam tanquam 
idohim colebant,' Chapeaville 2, 98. To this day poor women 
in Holland at Whitsuntide carry about a girl sitting m <t little 

1 While this fallow pasture is being railed off, the new lads (those who are tend- 
ing for the first time) have to procure bones to cover the branches of a fir-tree which 
is erected. The tree is called the gibbet of bones, and its top adorned with a horse 8 
skull (Ivuhn 323-4): plainly a relic of some heathen sacrificial rite, conf. the 
elevation of animals on trees, pp. 53, 75, esp. of horses' heads, p. 47; the good 
Lubbe's hill of bones is also in point, p. 526. 

- This naming of brides resembles the crying of fief s on Walburgis eve in 
Hesse, on the L. Rhine, the Ahr and the Eifel, Zeitschr. f. Hess, gesch. 2, 272-7. 
Dieffenbach's Wetterau p. 234. Ernst Weyden's Ahrthal, Bonn 1839, p. 210. 
And who can help remembering the ON. fieit strengja at Yule-tide? when the 
heroes likewise chose their loved ones, e.ij. in Seem. L46 a : ' Heftinn strengdi heit til 


carriage, and beg for money. This girl, decked with flowers and 
ribbons, and named pinxterbloem, reminds us of the ancient god- 
dess on her travels. The same pinxterbloem is a name for the 
iris pseudacorus, which blossoms at that very season ; and the 
sword-lily is named after other deities beside Iris (perunika, p. 
183-4). On the Zaterdag before Pentecost, the boys go out early 
in the morning, and with great shouting and din awake the lazy 
sleepers, and tie a bundle of nettles at their door. Both the 
day and the late sleeper are called luilap or luilak (sluggard). 
Summer also had to be wakened, p. 765. 

Everything goes to prove, that the approach of summer was 
to our forefathers a holy tide, welcomed by sacrifice, feast and 
dance, and largely governing and brightening the people's life. 
Of Easter fires, so closely connected with May fires, an account 
has been given; the festive gatherings of May-day night will 
be described more minutely in the Chap, on Witches. At this 
season brides were chosen and proclaimed, servants changed, 
and houses taken possession of by new tenants. 

With this I conclude my treatment of Summer and Winter ; 
i.e. of the mythic meanings mixed up with the two halves of 
the year. An examination of the twelve solar and thirteen lunar 
months x is more than I can undertake here, for want of space ; 
I promise to make good the deficiency elsewhere. This much 
I will say, that a fair proportion of our names of months also 
is referable to heathen gods, as we now see by the identifi- 
cation of May with summer, and have already seen in the case 
of Erede (March) and Eastre (April), p. 289. Phol, who had 
his Phol-day (p. 614), seems also to have ruled over a Phol-manot 
(May and Sept.), conf. Diut. i. 409, 432*, and Scheffer's Haltaus 
36. The days of our week may have been arranged and named 
on the model of the Roman (p. 127) ; the names of the three 
months aforesaid are independent of any Latin influence. 2 A 
remarkable feature among Slavs and Germans is the using of onu 
name for two successive months, as when the Anglo-Saxons 

1 That there were lunar years is indicated by the moon's being given ' at artali,' 
for year's tale, p. 710. 

2 Martins rests on Mars, Aprilis must contain a spring-goddess answering to 
Ostara, Majus belongs to Maja, a mother of gods. The same three consecutive 
months are linked in the Latin calendar, as in ours, with divinities. 

MONTHS. 780 

speak of an asrra and a3ftera Geola, aerra and geftera LicSa, and 
we of a great and little Horn (Jan. and Feb.), nay, Ougest is 
followed up by an Ougstin, the god by a goddess ; I even see 
a mythical substratum in popular saws on certain months, thus 
of February they say : ( the Sporkelsin has seven smocks on, 
of different lengths every one, and them she shakes/ i.e. raises 
wind with them. ' Sporkel/ we know, is traced to the Roman 


In the last chapter we examined myths having reference to the 
alternation of seasons, to phenomena of the year. Oar language 
affords several instances of transition from the notion of time to 
that of spaee. 

Ulphilas translates %povos, Kcupos, copa alternately by mel, 
liveila, peihs, yet so that ' mel ' usually stands for %povo<; or 
Kaipo<;, rarely for copa, and f liveila' mostly for copa, seldomer for 
%povo<i and /caipos ; the former expressing rather the longer 
section of time, and the latter the shorter. Mel, OHG. mdl, AS. 
mcel, ON. mdl, lit. mark or measure, is applied to measured 
speech or writing as well as to a portion of time ; on the contrary, 
liveila, OHG. huila, MHG. wile, AS. livoil (p. 702), denotes rest, 
and is purely a notion of time, whei-eas mel was transferred from 
space to time. We come across fieihs (neut. gen. ]>eihsis) only 
twice, viz. Rom. 13, 11 : ' vitandans ]?ata ]>eihs, ]?atei mel ist/ 
et'Sore? rbv /caipov, otl copa, and 1 Thess. 5, 1 : ' bi ]>6 ]?eihsa jah 
mela/ vrepl tcov yjpbvcov teal tcov icaipcov. Each passage contains 
both ]?eihs and mel, but the choice of the former for xpovos and 
the latter for tcatpos shews that ]?eihs is even better adapted than 
mel for the larger fuller notion, and the most complete arrange- 
ment would be : )>eihs xpovos, mel icaipos, hveila copa. I derive 
Jjeihs from ]?eihan (crescere, proficere, succedere), as veihs gen. 
veihsis (propugnaculum) from veihan (pugnare) ; so that it ex- 
presses profectus, successus, the forward movement of time, and 
is near of kin to OHG. dihsmo, dehsmo (profectus), probably also 
to dihsila (temo), our deichsel, AS. |?isl, thill, for which we may 
assume a Goth. ]?eihslo, ]?eihsla, the apparatus by which the 
wao-gon is moved on. Schmeller 4, 294 cleverly connects temo 
itself with tempus : the celestial waggon-thill (p. 724) marks the 
movement of nocturnal time (Varro 7, 72-5), and ]?eihsla becomes 
a measure like the more general ]>eihs. Even if the connexion of 
the two Latin words be as yet doubtful, that of the two Gothic 




ones can hardly be so. But now, as the Goth. J>eihs has no 
representative in the other Teutonic tongues, and in return the 
OHG. zit, AS. tid, ON. fj^ seems foreign to Gothic, it is natural, 
considering the identity of meaning, to suppose that the latter 
form arose from mixing up ]>eihan (crescere) with teihan (nun- 
tiare), and therefore that the AS. tid stands for ]nd, and OHG. 
zit for dit; besides, the OHG. zit is mostly neut., like ]?eihs, 
whereas the fem. zit, tid would have demanded a Goth. ]?eiha]?s. 
Of course a Goth. ]>eihs ought to have produced an OHG. dihs or 
dih (as veihs did wih) ; but, that derivation here branched in two 
or three directions is plain from the ON. timi, AS. time (tempus, 
hora), which I refer to the OHG. dihsmo 1 above, and a Goth, 
beihsina, with both of which the Lat. tempus (and tcmo?) would 
perfectly agree (see Suppl.). 

Like hveila, the OHG. stulla, and stunt, stunta, AS. ON. stund 
(moment, hour), contain the notion of rest, and are conn, with 
stilli (quietus), standan (stare), while conversely the Lat. mo- 
mentum (movi-mentum) is borrowed from motion. 3 We express 
the briefest interval of time by augenblich, eye-glance; Ulph. 
lenders Luke 4, 5 ev ariy/xyj yjpovov ' in stika melis/ in a prick 
of time, in ictu temporis ; 1 Cor. 15, 52 ev pnrj} 6j)da\fiov, ' in 
brahva augins,' brahv being glance, flash, micatus, AS. twincel, 
and traceable to braihvan (micare, lucere), OHG. prehan, MHG. 
brehen; 3 AS. 'on beorhtm-hwih' from bearhtm ictus oculi, ' on 
eagan beorhtm,' Beda 2, 13 ; ON. ( i augabragefi,' conf. Saam. ll b . 
14 a . 19 b . OHG. ' in slago dero brawo,' N. ps. 2, 12, in a movement 
of the eyelid (conf. slegiprdwa palpebra, Graff 3, 316); f ante- 

1 In dihan, dihsmo the d remained, in zit it degenerated. Just so the Goth, 
hvahan first hecame regularly OHG. duahan, then irregularly tuahan, now zwagen ; 
the OS. thuingan first OHG. duingan, then tuingan, now zwingen. Less anomal- 
ous hy one degree arc OHG. zi for Goth, du (to), and our zwerg for ON. dvergr 
(dwarf), MHG. twerc. 

2 Numeral adverbs of repetition our language forms with stunt as well as mal, 
but also by some words borrowed from space, Gramm. 3, 230. 

3 Beside the inf. brShen (MS. 1, -47*. 185\ Gudr. 1356, 2) we are only sure of 
the pres. part.: ouge- bre hender kle, MS. 1, 3 b . brehemler scliin 2, 231*; for the 
pret. brack, MS. 2, 52». Bon. 48. 68, could be referred to brechen, conf. ' break of 
day,' p. 747, yet the two verbs themselves may be congeners. In OHG. the perf. 
part, appears in prgftan-ougi (lippus), a compound formed like zoran-ougi, Gramm. 
2,693. The Goth, brahv assures us of the princ. parts in full, braihva, brahv, 
brehvum (like saihva, sabv, sShvum). But instead of an adj. Lraihts (bright), even 
the Gothic has only a transposed form bairhts, OHG. peraht, AS. beorht, ON. 
biartr ; yet our Berahta is afterwards also called Prehta, Brehte (pp. 277-0), and other 
proper names waver between the two forms, as Albreeht Albert, lluprecht llobert. 



quam supercilium superius inferiori jungi possit/ Caesar, heisterb. 
12, 5. ' minre wilen (in less time) dan ein oucbra zuo der an- 
dern muge geslahen/ Grieshaber p. 274. 'als ein oucbra mac 
uf und zuo gegen/ can open and shut, Berth. 239. ' e ich die 
hant umbkerte, oder zuo gesluege die (or better, diu) bra/ Er. 
5172. 'also schier so (as fast as) ein brawe den andern slahen 
mac/ Fundgr. 1, 199 (see Suppl.). 1 

A great length of time is also expressed by several different 
words: Goth, divs (m.), OHG. ewa (f.), Gr. aloov, Lat. aevunt 
shading off into the sense of seculum, 0. Fr. ae (p. 678) ; the 
OS. eo (m.) means only statutum, lex, as the Goth, mel was 
scriptura as well as tempus. Then Goth, alps (f.), by turns aloov 
(Eph. 2, 2. 1 Tim. 1, 17. 2 Tim. 4, 10), and £109 or yeved; 
ON. old; OHG. with suffix altar (aevum, aetas), though the 
simple word also survives in the compound weralt (assimil. 
worolt), MHG. werlt, our welt, AS. werold, Engl, world, Fris. 
wrald, ON. verald, verold, Swed. werld, Dan. verd : constant use 
accounts for the numerous distortions of the word. 2 Its Gothic 
form, wanting in Ulph., would have been vair-alps or ' vaire 
albs/ virorum (hominum) aetas, aetas (lifetime) passing into the 
local sense of mundus (world), just as seculum, siecle, has come 
to mean mundus, monde. We saw on p. 575 that Greek myth- 
ology supposes four ages of the world, golden, silver, brazen 
and iron : a fancy that has travelled far, 3 and was apparently 
no stranger in Scandinavia itself. Snorri 15 gives the name of 

1 Can brawe, OHG. prawa, ON. bra, be derived from brehen? Perbaps the 
set phrases in the text reveal the reason for it. In that case the OHG. prawa raust 
be for praba, and we might expect a Goth, brehva? Then the Sanskr. bhru, Gr. 
64>pvs, would be left without the vivid meaning of the Teut. word. 

2 Its true meaning was so obscured, that other explanations were tried. 
Maerlant at the beginn. of his Sp. Hist. : ' die de iverelt erst werrelt hiet, bine was 
al in dole niet. Adam die werelt al verwerrede.' , This deriv. from werren (impedire, 
intricare) was, if I mistake not, also hit upon by MHG. poets, e.g. Eenner 2293. 
Equally wrong are those from wern to last, and werlen to whirl. It is quite possi- 
ble, that wero alt (virorum aetas) was intended as an antithesis to a risono alt 
(gigantum aetas) which preceded it. 

3 In our Mid. Ages the World was personified, like Death, and the various ages 
were combined in a statue with a head of gold, arms of silver, a breast of brass and 
iron, and feet of earth, MS. 2, 175 b ; another representation gave the figure a 
golden head, silver breast and arms, brazen belly, steel thighs, iron legs, eartben 
feet, MS. 2, 22o a ; a third, a golden head, silver arms, brazen breast, copper belly, 
steel thighs, earthen feet, Amgb. 27 b . This medley, though borrowed from Daniel 
2, 31-43, reminds us of ancient idols formed out of various metals, and also of 
Hrungnir with the stone heart, and Mockrkalfi who was made of loam, and had a 
mare's heart put into him, Sn. 109. Hugo in his Eenner 13754 speaks of a steel, 
diamond, copper, wood, and straw world. 

WORLD. 793 

gull-aldr to the period when the gods had all their utensils made 
of gold, which was only cut short by the coming of giantesses 
out of Iotunheini. Had he merely borrowed this golden age 
from the classics, he would have taken the trouble to discover 
the other metals too in Norse legend. 1 But in the Voluspa 
(Saem. 8 a ) we see that other ages are spoken of, skegg-old (see p. 
421), skalm-old, vind-old and varg-old, which are to precede the 
destruction of the world. 

To translate tcoo-fios, Ulph. takes by turns, and often one im- 
mediately after the other, the two words fairhvas and manasefis ; 
both must have been in common use amoug the Goths. Maria- 
sefis 2 means virorum satus (seed of men), and is used at once for 
\ao<> and for /coo-fios, thus fully conciding with the above developed 
sense of weralt. Fairhvus I take to be near of kin to OHG. 
ferah, AS. feorh, MHG. verch, so that it expressed lifetime again, 
like aevum; it is also connected with OHG. firahi (homines), and 
would mean first ' coetus hominum viventium/ then the space 
in which they live. It has nothing to do with fairguni, earth, 
mountain (see Suppl.). 

As /coafios properly means the ordered, symmetrical (world), 
mundus the clean, well-trimmed, bright, and as the Frisian laws 
126, 26 speak of 'thi skene wrald ' ; so the Slavic sviet, svet,swiat 
is, first of all, light and brightness, then world, the open, public/ 5 
all that the sun illumines, whatsoever is ' under the sun. J 4 So 
the Wallach. lame, the Hung, vildg, signify both light and world. 
The Lith. sivietas, 0. Pruss. switai, world, is borowed from Slavic. 
Like mundus, the Slav, sviet passes into the time-sense of 
seculum, viek (Dobrowsky's Inst. 149). The older Slavs called 
the world mir and ves'mir, Dobr. 24. 149 ; mir is also the word 
for peace, quietness, and seems akin to mira or mera, measure 
(order?). The Finnic for world is maa 3 ilma, the Esth. ma Urn 
(from ilma, the expanse of air, and maa, earth) , the Lapp, ilbme. 

1 We